July 8, 2012

"The 13 Careers Where You’re Most Likely To Commit Suicide."

Are these jobs making people more suicidal or do more suicidal people take these jobs? Another possibility: These people aren't more suicidal, they're just more likely to follow through, perhaps because they have lower moral/religious inhibition about the deed — e.g., scientists (#11) — or because they're more adept with the tools of self-murder — e.g., skilled manual laborers (#12). — or both — e.g., doctors (#9).

40 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

and lawyers are 3 times more likely to get you to commit suicide.

sydney said...

A dentist once told dentists were at the top of the list because they spend all day with anxious people who are anxious because they are in the presence of the dentist. He says it rubs off on them and wears them down. That's the conventional wisdom amongst dentists, at any rate.

edutcher said...

Some of those jobs are inhabited by the highly-strung, but the ones near the high end of the list (welder, etc.) seem more likely victims of the times - those who died because of the Man-cession.

ndspinelli said...

Phil 3:14 LOL.

This is certainly an eclectic list. I'm surprised cops aren't on it.

m stone said...

Most of the jobs require precision and high standards of excellence. One slip and all you've sought to achieve can be lost.

The painter, the novelist, the doctor who just once, or even after a long career, has fallen a step back, never to achieve the same level.

And big egos too.

Makes sense to me.

madAsHell said...

Blog commenter didn't make the list !?!?!

The Crack Emcee said...

Or it's because they have to come into contact with solipsism more often - either their own (actors) or others - and regular contact with such madness makes them depressed.

That's how it's worked for me, so I isolate myself from others as much as possible and, since I don't enjoy being around crazy people, I find I'm happier being less inconvenienced.

Y'all Khmer Rouge types can have it,...

Curious George said...

I expected Postal carriers. Maybe murder-suicides don't count.

chickelit said...

That's real shocker about dentists--who knew? Things could get even worse for dentists when their service is ruled to be a right and our system goes all British style dentistry.

Also, what about soldiers and professional football players?

virgil xenophon said...

Additional factors for Dentists are the facts that their office equipment needs are exceedingly expensive which puts them into debt far longer than even Drs; when combined with the fact that it's hard to "surge"/leverage their practice to provide add income (because they have to personally manipulate all the procedures on each patient and they can see only so many patients/day) means that it takes them into their 40s on avg before they are out of debt. Add to all this is that whether standing or sitting, the need to bend over while performing the procedures during the long work-day leads to lower back problems. Dentists have one of the highest disability ins claims records of any profession.

Palladian said...

and our system goes all British style dentistry.

You mean becomes non-existant?

chickelit said...

You mean becomes non-existant?

No, "universal"

pm317 said...

Dentists were a surprise but reading some of the comments here help. I have a wonderful dentist and I am going to keep a cheerful demeanor next time I see him. He is doing very well but still I will keep my end of the bargain.

My own opinion on this matter, being irreligious and a scientist, I like to think I should be able to switch it off when I want to assuming that I don't have any more worldly obligations.

Scott said...

Dentists are always down in the mouth.

Ann Althouse said...

I try to find a way to make
All our little joys relate
Without that ever-present hate
But now I know that it's too late, and
Suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please


The lyrics of the theme from MASH... the dentist was called "Painless," and he was suicidal. Remember? The movie.

Craig said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKZRRRNcR_U&feature=player_detailpage

lemondog said...

So what occupations are 'average' besides bankers, politicians and school teachers?

Aren't lawyers in the semi-skilled category?

Also politicans?

AllieOop said...

Nursing usually tops the list for most honesty and ethics of any profession. Surprised its not on the suicide top ten .

Wally Kalbacken said...

And if you're a dentist who resembles Kurt Cobain, fuggetaboutit!

elkh1 said...

vx: Don't forget those malpractice insurance premiums. A dentist pays a premium to cover current year's patients, he also pays a premium to cover last year's patients, a premium to cover previous years' patients. Since there's no statute of limitations for malpractice lawsuits, the longer a dentist works, the higher his malpractice insurance premiums even though he has never been sued. On top of the ever increasing malpractice insurance premiums, he has to pay tens of thousands of student loans, and mortgages. It's a wonder that not more of them checked themselves out.

ErnieG said...

I had read that about dentists, only with respect to stress, not suicide. The chief stress factor was said to be the fact that the dentist works literally and constantly in the face of someone who is fearful, often hostile, and often in pain. The patient's reptile brain is in a fight-or-flight mode, but he is behaving himself. The damage occurs on a deep, subconscious level, and is difficult to will away. The dentists I know all seem to have a breezy, affable, chairside manner, which seems to me to be a defense mechanism.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wally Kalbacken,

And if you're a dentist who resembles Kurt Cobain, fuggetaboutit!

"There's something wrong with that boy. He frowns for no good reason."

- William S. Burroughs, to his secretary, after a visit from Kurt Cobain

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Many of the jobs are male dominated. Men--especially white men-- are much more likely to commit suicide than women. Jobs that are male dominated would skew the results to look like the job itself causes suicidal ideas.

Toy

William said...

I can see authors. I've read that 50% of them end up as alcoholics or with writer's block. Writing is an unnatural way of making a living. That much introspection is sure to fuck you up..... I'm surprised at musicians and, especially, dancers though. I knew someone very well who was a dancer. She had all kinds of problems, but the dancing seemed an effective way of exorcising demons. At any rate, she looked healthy and fit and was very happy when she was dancing. The dancing seemed to alleviate rather than exacerbate her problems.... Are there any arts that actually increase one's longevity and contentment? Maybe macrame is the way to go.

Oso Negro said...

One day a biological mechanism that influences the dentist suicide rate will be found. Kind of like that cat fancier bacteria in the news this past week. Mark it down. There is no way the anxiety of their patients exceed that of obstetricians or oncologists.

Joe said...

People are actually taking this urban legend seriously?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

My immediate guess on reading the list is that several of these job categories involve access to cheap and relatively painless means to kill oneself. If you're (say) a retail clerk, you'll have to think of a method. A doctor or dentist, not so much.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Those who weld are not semi-skilled and unskilled manual laboreres.

An academic made that up.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I want it noted that soldiers don't make the list. In fact, at the peak of Iraq, the rate for soldiers had doubled and was still just under the average rate for males of the same age groups (e.g. 20-40)

regardless of what the MSM anf leftiest meme, soldiers are a better class of folk than their peers. Less drugs, better educated, less crime, more likely to be married...Level headed, achievement oriented and focused on serving....

Rabel said...

In the "Seinfeld" episode, Jerry Seinfeld's Jewish dentist Tim declared, "You have no idea what my people have been through."

"The Jews?" Seinfeld asked.

"No, the dentists," Tim replied.

After Tim states that dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession, Seinfeld retorted: "Is that why it's so hard to get an appointment?"

sleepless nights said...

@William Professional dancers (modern, jazz or ballet types) can have a tremendous amount of physical problems that only get worse as they get older; their prime career can be quite short unless they successfully make the leap (NPI) to choreography. Yes, dancing does make them happy, and nothing else quite measures up.

In fact, I know of a doctor who recently killed himself. I wish there had been a lot of detail on the reasons why. A list of the least suicidal professions would be illuminating, but not necessarily accurate. There are mothers, for example, who have fantasies about killing themselves, even taking the kids with them, but who end up staying alive for the kids. They're still psychologically suicidal, but wouldn't show up on a the list.

Paddy O said...

Rabel is an anti-dentite, telling Dentist jokes like that, in the very thread we're discussing the suffering they've been through as a people.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

This makes me feel bad for my dentist. I will smile many extra times at my next appointment.

Biff said...

"The dentists I know all seem to have a breezy, affable, chairside manner, which seems to me to be a defense mechanism."

Well, the whole grim, unfriendly, Dr. Szell/Marathon Man chairside manner tends to be bad for a dentist's business.

Jim S. said...

What? Philosophers didn't make the list? I'm insulted.

Mel said...

William said:
... She had all kinds of problems, but the dancing seemed an effective way of exorcising demons. At any rate, she looked healthy and fit and was very happy when she was dancing. The dancing seemed to alleviate rather than exacerbate her problems...

It does, until you can't do it anymore. And if you are a professional, not only does the stress relief get taken away, now you may not be able to pay your bills on top of any other problem you have. And you've ground your joints to pieces, further limiting future job choices.

Every time my daughter watches "Dance Moms" I wonder why those moms don't find a teacher who can show their daughters by doing...there are dance teachers out there like that. I had one once and she taught me the most valuable of skills - self-discipline. (Thanks, Mrs. Woodruff!)

Methadras said...

Dentists are still #1. Engineers don't even make the list.