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'Anti-depressants cut suicides': Swedish study

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 23 Oct 2009, 14:41

Published: 23 Oct 2009 14:41 GMT+02:00

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In 1995 1,783 Swedes took their own lives. Ten years later the figure had declined to 1,451, a drop of 18 percent.

Over the same period the use of anti-depressant medication increased dramatically among the Swedish adult population.

"This should be taken into consideration in the development of national guidelines for the treatment of depression," said Göran Isacsson, one of the researchers responsible for the study at the psychiatric clinic at Karolinska University Hospital, to medical journal Läkartidningen.

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) wants to see the use of conversational therapy as the initial treatment for patients suffering from depression.

The board argues that medicine should not be used in the first instance as studies indicate that conversational therapy works just as well.

The board's final recommendations will be presented in the beginning of 2010.

Sweden has regularly been rumoured to have the highest rate of suicide in Europe - but World Health Organization statistics from 2003 show conclusively that this belief remains nothing but an urban myth.

Lithuania in fact carries the distinction with a rate of 75.6/100,000 for men and 16.1/100,000 for women.

Sweden has 19.7/100,000 for men and 8.0/100,000 for women.

France, New Zealand, Australia and Germany, among others, all have higher rates of suicide than Sweden, which comes in only slightly higher than the USA and Canada.

Story continues below…

"The myth of Swedish suicide" has its roots in the late 1950s and a speech given by the then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower which had been based on an inaccurate briefing.

The President's speech was intended to paint a negative picture of Sweden, then a country advocating a brand of third-way cradle-to-the-grave socialism and adopting a stance of post-war neutrality outside NATO and US influence.

Since Eisenhower's speech many people have accepted the picture as fact and thus helped to perpetuate the myth.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:32 October 23, 2009 by Nemesis
Oh wonderful.

Another excuse for the psychiatrists to keep us all drugged up and not thinking.

Some advice.

Turn of the playstation.

Stop getting blind drunk on you own.

Join a hobby group or goto a resturant.

Speak to people.

have a conversation with strangers about anything.


Make aquanitances.

Make friends.

Meet knew people.

Avoid drugs.

In plain language and to sum up. Get a life.
17:45 October 23, 2009 by maxbrando
Pot sounds better. Why not? You Swedes tolerate just abourt everything else.
19:02 October 23, 2009 by peropaco
@Nemesis, your suggestions, although reasonable pretty simple for the average Joe, represent sa great Challenge for a Swede. For this reason, suicide is easier and effortless since it does not require them to speak or do anything of the sort. Sad but true. I live in a building in near Karlaplan and the neighboors would rather walk up five floors than take the lift if someone else is in it.
00:46 October 24, 2009 by JosefEugen
What Eisenhower said is the following: "the record shows that their rate of suicide has gone up almost unbelievably and I think they were almost the lowest nation in the world for that. Now, they have more than twice our rate." At the time he said it is was quite true. The rate of suicides in Sweden was around 20 per 100000 and in the US around 10 per 100000. Now for females it is still around 2 to 1 but for males the US is only slightly lower. It should be pointed out that Eisenhower didn't name the country and...the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang joked: "It's a good thing Sweden so readily was willing to be hurt by President Eisenhower's broadside against the 'fairly friendly' Socialist governed country in Europe. That saves Norway and Denmark from having to be offended"

Later Gunnar Myrdal acknowledged it but explained it by saying "there is much less temptation in Sweden than other countries for relatives to press for a verdict of accidental death when a man falls from a window or a woman takes too large a dose of sleeping pills."
04:33 October 24, 2009 by Greg in Canada

I have to agree with you. Psychologists and psychiatrists and way over rated.
09:46 October 24, 2009 by Nemesis
@ greg in Canada,

I agree.

Also I think they are a bunch of sex obsessed perverts.

A while back I read through a psychiatry textbook. I was disgusted. They obviously hate women.

Also I have met a couple of them out in the pub. They are sex obsessed and to be honest I think they need help. They are all divorced, all seem to drink every day and think they are superior.

I think they need to get a life and stop pathologising and drugging up people.
15:15 October 24, 2009 by FireBoy
Regarding the psychiatric drugs I strongly recommend you to watch the documentary "The Untold Story Of Psychotropic Drugging". You can find it also on you tube (just search for "making a killing")

I cannot say how much of it is true but it is important to hear different voices on the topic I guess.
15:18 October 24, 2009 by Emmi
Stop ruining people's lives with anti-depressants! They do not need them; only love and talking therapies would save their lives.
18:09 October 24, 2009 by Nemesis
@ fireboy.

That is a scientology documentary.

We don't need to swap one form of oppression of our freedom to think wiht another oppression of our freedom to think.

We need to think for ourselves and tell the oppressors where to go.

Psychiatrists, scientologists and the religeous alike, should be removed from our lives.
19:06 October 24, 2009 by unixorn
I am really happy to read these comments. I was given Psychiatric medication for way too many years. Went thru hell due to them. When I shifted my city I got a better Psychiatrist who diagnosed me as having just social depression, he cut down my pills but it had to be an extremely slow and careful process, in the meanwhile I also took up authentic yoga breathing as well as exercise. It took me 2.5 years to get deaddicted from those pills which had turned me into a zombie. I am thankful to be back. Not only physical exercise, yoga etc. but there are also a number of natural herbs found around the world that lessen depression.
08:49 October 25, 2009 by skatty
I think to live in Sweden is itself a kind of suicide!
11:17 October 25, 2009 by ropegun247
A state like sweden needs zombied workers. They don't complain and they work.

It's ok to get trashed everyweekend and as long as you return to work on monday, you don't have a drinking problem.

Instead of making the effort to become more humans, talk and socialize with other people, it's much easier to drink and pop a pill... and when all of that is not enough... checking out is the next easiest thing.
14:39 October 25, 2009 by Nemesis
@ skatty,

If that is how you feel, leave Sweden and go elsewhere.
18:46 October 25, 2009 by skatty

I'm working on it; it's not easy, I wish it was easy!
19:52 October 25, 2009 by Nemesis
@ skatty.

If you have property, sell it on hemnet.se and furniture/car on blocket.se Then goto flysas.com and book a flight.

20:20 October 25, 2009 by skatty

"In plain language and to sum up. Get a life!" your first comment, you remember.

Is it what are you doing on this site right now, getting a life?
00:25 October 26, 2009 by Nemesis
@ skatty,

You said you wanted to leave, I just gave practical advice.

I have a life and don't need yours.

As I have previously said, as you hate living in Sweden so much. If you have property, sell it on hemnet.se and furniture/car on blocket.se Then goto flysas.com and book a flight elsewhere.
02:36 October 26, 2009 by mkvgtired
Nemisis, All seem like very logical suggestions.
06:52 October 26, 2009 by Nemesis
@ mkvgtired


I do not understand all the commentators on the local, who all appear to hate Sweden, yet live in it. If they hate it so much they should leave and I will gladly give them links to websites that they can sell there property on, there belongings and then get a flight somewhere else.

I think I am going to start posting the links ot hement, blocket and SAS to those people, more often.

If someoen has a genuine issue about something, that I understand, but blanket hatred of Sweden makes no sense. If they hate it so much, they should leave.

I have noticed that a large amount of the commentators on the local are extremely narrow minded views on social issues, where'as Sweden is a mostly liberal country on social issues. Most of the commentators on the local, would be better of moving to Saudi Arabia, Somalia or North Korea, as that is the countries in which there ideas regarding social freedoms would fit best.

I left Northern Ireland to move to Sweden because Sweden is a better place to live. I know Sweden is not perfect, far from it, but it is a substnatially better place to live that were I lived. I would not move to a country that was not a better place for me to live. It would not make sense to me.
09:08 October 26, 2009 by Rick Methven

Maybee these Sweden knockers are just bitten with that old Anglo-Saxon bug of never being happy unless they are miserable.

They think that the grass is greener on the other side( Sweden) when they get here they find that the grass is just as gray as anywhere else.

Life anywhere is what you make of it. You just need to get a grip on yourself and make your life what you want it to be.
21:00 October 26, 2009 by frey
@ skatty, you are entitled to your opinion.

@nemesis,fyi, many people say scientology is bad, but i have read "dianetics" by its founder, l. ron hubbard and my opinion of his work is that he is leibnitzian(we see the "modad" in the cells combined will for survival), functional or purposive in systematic type, he mentions an acquaintance with a student of sigmund freud (this is where i think the prenatal emphasis comes from), and he (l ron hubbard) presents the work as a self-help approach saying you can "clear" another person by reading his book and then helping them in "reverie" (focused thought) to free pent-up energy and mental function. he (l ron hubbard) is against psychiatric drugging and is against psychosurgery (lobotomies and shock).
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