Author(s): Shahtahmasebi S
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Abstract In recent years, there have been a number of claims and counterclaims from suicide research using time series and longitudinal data; in particular, the linkage of increased antidepressant prescriptions to a decrease in suicide rates. Suicide time series appear to have a memory compounded with seasonal and cyclic effects. Failure to take into account these properties may lead to misleading conclusions, e.g., a downward blip is interpreted as the result of current knowledge and public health policies, while an upward blip is explained as suicide being complex depending on many variables requiring further research. In previous publications, I argued that this misuse of time series data is the result of an uncritical acceptance of a medical model that links mental ill-health to suicide. The consequences of such research behaviour are further increases in antidepressant prescriptions and medications to those who should not be prescribed them, with adverse effects showing across the population, e.g., the prescription of antidepressants to very young children (some under 1 year of age) in New Zealand. Moreover, the New Zealand Evidence-based Health Care Bulletin recommends an authoritarian approach for every interaction with a young person to check their psychosocial well-being. When viewed holistically, this kind of human behaviour makes researchers, policy makers (politicians), treatment, and practitioners, and society in general part of the problem rather than the solution. This paper explores some dynamic aspects of suicide, using only official data with particular reference to youth suicide, and suggests that the medical model of suicide is only an attempt to treat depression without addressing suicide, and recommends the creation of a unified database through understanding the society that individuals live in. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate debate and the collaboration of international experts regardless of their school of thought.
This article was published in ScientificWorldJournal
and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access