589 This one I'm just going to leave open-ended.


Tom Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

This is going to stretch you just a bit. We have a tendency to grin, or maybe even applaud, when someone quotes Shakespeare when he has Henry VI say, "Kill all the lawyers!" It's a natural reaction to a time when there is just too much litigation taking place.

But when it comes to reality...?

That's a little different, isn't it?

I just read a CNN report that said something I didn't know, and that I'll bet you didn't know either: Prominent lawyers keep turning up dead — by their own hand.

It has become a veritable epidemic. Lawyers are now the fourth most likely group in the nation to commit suicide.

In 2004, In Oklahoma during 2004, it was one a month. South Carolina had six lawyer suicides from January 2007 to July 2008. Kentucky has had 15 lawyer suicides in the last 3 years.

Those are BIG numbers.

The problem is so bad that eight state bar associations are very concerned. California, Montana, Iowa, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina have added added a "mental health" component to mandatory continuing education for lawyers.

The problem seems to be traceable in large part to depression.

That's it. I'll just leave it right there and let you make whatever comment you'd like to make.


Ronald Hamric 2 years, 10 months ago


This thread is ripe for a ton of "Lawyer jokes". I do believe I'll refrain from that. I think it was Don Evans that posted something on the State, National, and World blog about a rash of bankers committing suicide or meeting an untimely death. My sense is that the same alarm could be raised about any select group one might want to examine. It's just that Bankers and lawyers are pretty much at the top of the food chain and tend to get more attention. So how many "blue collar" workers who are out of work and depressed, committed suicide in those states during the same time frame. My guess is that no one really cares enough about "those" folks to even do a survey Just the elite.


Tom Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago


Reading what you said, I was inclined to agree with you. But then I started checking statistics and things began to look very different.

• Looking at the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data by non-governmental occupation with a total of 189 non-governmental suicides:

Management: 34/18%

Sales: 26/14%

Construction: 18/10%

Production: 19/10%

**Military: 15/8%

**Police and other protective services: 25/14%

(Broken down, police account for 9 of the 25 or 5%)

Transportation: 13/7%

Material moving: 12/7%

Installation, repair, and maintenance: 12/7%

Building and grounds: 15/8%

(The percent of men was 94%)

** Don't ask me how military and police are "non-governmental." I don't know.)

• Checking a set provided by another source which referenced the CDC, the numbers change because they are added up over a longer time and are grouped differently; out of 2,070 suicides:

Food batchmakers: 241/12%

Physicians: 222/11%

Nurses: 221/11%

Biological and medical scientists: 188/9%

Social scientists and urban planners: 171/8%

Dentists: 165/8%

Lawyers and judges: 140/7%

Guards: 139/7%

Sales: 139/7%

Tool and die makers: 126/6%

Police: 118/6%

(No male/female percentages given.)

The numbers look correct because I have seen similar numbers before, but make what you will of them, folks.

I'm so pooped out after running the percentages (I did them myself to make sure the numbers added up), that I'll let someone else figure out what all this means.


Tom Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

I went a bit farther and checked into the fundamental cause of suicide. I guess it's a no-brainer that it is related to depression, but there was something else that caught my eye, and may catch your eye too: Stress.

Take a look at that second list and it becomes obvious that stress ties all those professions together. I didn't catch on at first because "Food Batchmakers" led the list, but can you see the many different ways in which that might be stressful?

As for doctors and nurses, it's obvious.

But what about "social scientists and urban planners?" Can you see the ways in which those jobs would be stressful?

And the ones that really threw me were "tool and die makers" and "biological and medical scientists." I had to look that up, but I found out that any high tech job which requires great attention to detail is very stressful. That blew my mind because that's exactly the kind of thing that i find relaxing. I just love solving complex problems, in fact five or six times in my life someone has made the old classic comment to me, "Tom, you're a solution looking for a problem."

Notice that "management, sales, and production" are high on the first list too. To me "production" = "food batchmakers."

And sales is near the top of the list in both lists.

Can you see how such things involve stress?

How would you feel about being a salesperson?

And I can just see why "transportation" or "materials moving" would be high on the list. On the road all the time? Oh boy!

I wonder what kinds of jobs are LOW on the list. Any ideas?


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