Differences between countries

Obviously there are enormous differences in suicide attempt rates between different areas in Europe: For females the rates vary between 542 and 72 per 100 000 (age 15+) in Cergy-Pontoise, France, and Guipuzcoa, San Sebastian, Spain, respectively—a sevenfold difference. Oxford ranks second with 368, followed by Bordeaux with 248, Helsinki with 247, and Stockholm with 232. Low rates are found in the Italian and Spanish centres, in Wurzburg, Germany, and in Innsbruck, Austria. The average female suicide attempt rate for all centres combined is 193 per 100 000 females aged 15 years and older. Even within a country there appear to be differences between catchment areas. In Sweden, the urban catchment area of Stockholm had a rate of 232, whereas the much less urbanized catchment area of Umea had a rate of 145. During the study period (1989-1992) the female attempted suicide rate decreased by 14 per cent on average in all centres.

For males the rates vary between 327 in Helsinki and 46 in Guipuzcoa, Spain, again a sevenfold difference. Oxford again ranks second with 264, followed by Cergy-Pontoise, France, with 252. Low rates are found in the two Italian centres (Padova and Emilia-Romagna) and in Wurzburg, Germany. The male average suicide attempt rate for all centres combined was 140 per 100 000 males of 15 years and older. Within Sweden the difference in rates between Stockholm (154) and Umea (92) is remarkable. During the study period (data for 1989-1992), the male attempted suicide rate decreased by 17 per cent on average in all centres.

Differences between catchment areas in suicide attempt rates in the WHO/EURO project have been studied in relation to socio-economic characteristics of these areas.(l.2,) No correlations were found with most of the social and economical factors supposedly related to suicide attempt rates, such as population density, urban-rural distribution, proportion working in agriculture forestry or fishery, sex ratio, percentage aged 40 and over, number of people per household, percentage people living alone, percentage single parent families, per capita income, unemployment rate, life expectancy, mortality rate, infant mortality, crimes per year per 1000, and per capita alcohol consumption. Only two characteristics of the catchment areas seemed to be related to suicide attempt rates: the percentage of divorced people in the area and the percentage receiving social security. Family stability, and the percentage of the population relying on welfare, both seem to be related to the frequency of attempted suicide, but the interpretation of these findings is difficult, since one would expect the other related social indicators of societal cohesion to covary as well.

It is important, however, to realize that the characteristics mentioned above relate to regions or countries, and do not relate to individuals. On the individual level characteristics such as unemployment do play an important role, but that does not mean that on a sociological level unemployment rates explain high attempted suicide rates in a region.(1, ,14) This relationship holds only for some regions and not for others, as is documented repeatedly. (l5,»

Cultural variation in attempted suicide has been documented from India, (!6> Sri Lanka/17 and Pakistan/1,8) and from ethnic groups within Western societies, such as the Inuit in Canada/!.9,) Neeleman et al.(20) studied ethnic differences in parasuicide in Camberwell, London, and found considerable differences between the deliberate self-harm rates for white people and for British-born Indian females and African-Caribbeans (20). Indian females had a particularly high rate, 7.8 times that of white females. Marriage problems seem to be related to attempted suicide in Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and China. Young married women may have serious difficulties after moving in with their husbands' extended families. Dowry problems and problems with in-laws are thought to be precipitants of attempted suicide among young married women. In Asian countries the methods used in attempted suicide reflect differences in accessibility. Self-poisoning with organophosphate pesticides and other household poisons is prevalent. As in the Western world attempted suicide/deliberate self-harm behaviours appear to reflect feelings of hopelessness and helplessness in adverse living conditions with no prospect of improvement. Women tend to be more powerless to bring about changes in their living conditions. In Sri Lanka the continuous warfare, poverty, and the lack of opportunities at home and abroad frustrates the young who are relatively well educated.(1Z>

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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