Another Look at Gun Violence, The Opioid Epidemic, Suicide, and Depression/Anxiety

Another Look at Gun Violence, The Opioid Epidemic, Suicide, and Depression/Anxiety
Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas Psychiatrist RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA

Claudewell S. Thomas, MD, MPH, DLFAPA, is an established psychiatrist currently retired and living in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He received his medical degree in 1956 at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and specializes in social psychiatry, public health psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Thomas was board... more

According to the July 15 issue of Psychiatric News, suicide deaths in the U.S. have climbed dramatically in the last several years. They have nearly doubled in women. While possibly being a disturbing aspect of a “me too” world, it may also be a manifestation of an increasingly successful war on our society through the Health Portal. Women have been the watchers over the health of family and community at least since Neolithic times, so abdication of that function or being removed from that function spells trouble.

The same issue of Psychiatric News indicates that suicide and addiction rates among physicians have also climbed steeply, doubling that of the general population and in some specialties (anesthesiology and psychiatry) quadrupling. While these rates are regionally different, there appears to be a link between suicide, anxiety, depression, gun violence, and addiction (alcohol and opioid). Some of the physician problems stem from overwork and burnout, but formal physician support networks are in a fledgling state.

I suggest that we are in an undeclared war with principal adversaries employing cyber warfare, political divisiveness, threat of riot, and direct assault on our electoral process. We are at war with state and nonstate hackers and cyberspies, the intent of whom goes beyond economic pilfering right through to the overthrow of the USA.

There are a lot of problems that are specific to our times. Global warming, overpopulation, consequences of global warming, tsunami, hurricanes, tornadoes—literally biblical fire and flood. The rise of “me first” oligarchs where globalism is the only possible methodology for stopping the clock of Earth’s demise—this is the environment within which war has been declared on the USA. The assault on our health care system is something we can help deflect. The bargain AHPs that undermine the ACA and destroy protection against preexisting condition coverage throw the care of the indigent back to emergency rooms, killing the budget and making those rooms unavailable through overuse for an attack of Ebola or some other epidemic disease assault.

So we as patients are soldiers in this war which is much more than a war of principles waged politically between parties in the U.S but is part of an assault on our country carried on by clever external manipulators using party politics and individual greed to destroy American Democracy.

Claudewell S. Thomas, MD, MPH, DLFAPA, is an established psychiatrist currently retired and living in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He received his medical degree in 1956 at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and specializes in social psychiatry, public health psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Thomas was board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.