Top 5 Highest Suicide Rates by Profession
I researched the suicide rates by profession and was shocked by what I found. Here are the statistics:
- Dentists (male) 8.02%
- Physicians 7.87%
- Pharmacists 7.19%
- Nurses 6.56%
- Dentists (female) 5.28%
All 5 professions are Healthcare related. The same healthcare workers that we called our heroes during Covid, are all killing themselves in record numbers. The same brave Men & Women that save our lives, save our kids lives, work round-the-clock hours to help us, make sure we are no longer suffering from our own health…are all suffering from their Mental Health.
Let’s take a little closer look at possible reasons behind these figures, which I find unacceptable. Dentists report to have between 5–7 major stress triggers every day. Over 50% of Dentists also report they lack the coping skills necessary to deal with day-to-day problems. Female Dentists actually attempt suicide more often than their Male counterparts, but males have a higher completion rate.
As it’s been told to me, should a Dentist report they have a drug or alcohol problem, they are placed in a diversion program & they have a path toward retaining their licenses should they meet certain criteria. It’s a well thought out, well-run program with clear boundaries, healthy warnings if they don’t follow through with treatment, and great resources to get them back on track.
But on the flip side, there is nothing setup for them if they start to feel symptoms more consistent with depression, overwhelm, suicidal ideation, etc. Classic Mental Health components that could do a lot to help ease the suffering and to give support to the hero’s that helped so many of us or our loved ones during Covid.
Mental Health is not an ugly word. If each of us is being honest with ourselves, we all have some sort of Mental Health issue going on at all times. Dentists should not be ostracized because they’re human. They don’t have any safe place to turn, nobody to talk to, and live in constant fear of losing their license should they say the wrong word in explaining how they feel. In this author’s opinion, this worry only perpetuates the problem.
Compared to the general population Physicians are 40% more likely to die by suicide.
Some reasons for that are:
- Compassion fatigue
- Depression, anxiety or other mood disorders
- Personal stressors, such as family conflict, divorce, parenting issues
- Addictions(alcohol, other drugs, gambling, etc.)
- Despair, reflecting a loss of meaning and purpose in one’s work and life
Among Physicians, it is Psychiatrists who turn to suicide most often. This is attributed to greater rates of compassion fatigue.
Licensure is considered the leading cause for Dr.’s & Nurses to conceal their feelings. When it comes to feelings and emotions, I am a classic example of someone who internalizes these things. Some of us stuff our feelings until we feel the need to end our emotional suffering.
I’m passionate about this because of the empathy I feel for those who feel suicide is the best option. I’ve been there before. I know how dark and lonely that can be. To hold everything inside hoping that it get’s better doesn’t serve you well. In fact, it’s the opposite. This can have negative repercussions on your health, energy, mood, and it can wreck havoc on your family, spouse, kids, and colleagues.
This is not the platform to share my personal story but I can relate to these amazing healthcare workers more than the average person. I know what it feels like to see other people smiling and think to myself, “what in the world could those people possibly be smiling about? This world offers nothing that should make people smile, laugh, and jovial.” I remember thinking at the Age of 13. “How can everyone be smiling & seemingly happy?”
I try to include pictures of myself (within articles like this) happy, professional, and back in love with life. I am one of the few who get to experience that darkness and find the bridge to happiness on the other side of my suffering. The next time you see a healthcare worker, thank them, and let them know there are people out there who care about them A LOT!! We want to see them live to see the miraculous people that they are.
I am far from done finding solutions for these people who I rub shoulders with every single day. We need them, they need us. We are all in this together. I’m going to be calling on State Governors and Advisory Boards to see if we can make Mental Health an acceptable word in Healthcare. Because one life lost is too many.