Suicide is Painless
Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see
That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.
— “Suicide is Painless”
Music by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Mike Altman
Theme from the feature film “M*A*S*H”
Since Russia is a nation with less than half the population of the United States (a gap that grows wider every single day), in order for Russia to have more deaths by suicide in a given year the rate of suicide among Russians would have to be more that twice as high as it is among Americans.
And that’s the case.
Russia’s rate of suicide per 100,000 people is, at 32.2, the third highest on the planet. America’s rate, at just 11 per 100,000, is one-third the Russian level and not in the world’s top 40 worst.
Every year, nearly 60 Russian men in every 100,000 kill themselves. They may not have much to lose, since the average Russian man doesn’t reach age 60 even when he wants to keep on living. And that 60 only refers to men who end their lives by instant and dramatic means. It doesn’t consider the millions who commit suicide by slower means like alcohol and smoking.
Russian women commit suicide at a much lower rate, but that doesn’t mean they are having a fine old time. 9.8 Russian women kill themselves out of every 100,000 in the population each year, a rate double the American level. And you probably don’t need a very vivid imagination to understand that living with that army of suicidally unhappy men is no picnic. As we’ve previously reported, one Russian woman is murdered by her husband ever forty minutes. So in fact, a suicidal woman doesn’t really have to do do the deed herself; she can just wait and her husband will probably take care of the matter for her in very short order.
Not surprisingly, Russia’s rate of divorce also is a world leader.