Monday, 27 June 2016

Depression, Suicide, and the Modern World

According to this article Greenland is the country with the world's highest suicide rate. From 1900-1930 Greenland had a suicide rate of 0.3 per 100,000. Now it's a staggering 100 in 100,000 and is the highest in the world! Why such a huge increase? In the first half of the 20th Century they lived much as they had for the past 4000 years-- namely hunting and fishing and living in small villages. So perhaps something to do with the change in the way they live?

I suspect people are happier in small closely knit communities with a shared history and identity, where everyone knows each other, and where they do traditional work rather than doing repetitious work for some faceless company in the modern world. I would speculate the modern world, and the style of living it inaugurated, has some role to play in why so many people are depressed and commit suicide.


  1. To make ourselves happy. I never remember feeling envious or covetous of others, I was middle middle class, my friends,neighbours aquaintances, family etc all worked 9-5" they worked conscientiously,N and we lived in our means! Then along came the 60's and 70's and this desire to won everything we saw and it hasn't brought happiness, or satisfaction to most. It's created a disgruntled avaricious society. As to living in small communities! Of course! There you are known,cared for and you belong. By moving outside your comfort zones you are dependent on yourself, you are exposed to worries you did not have. I'm not saying that all travel and expansion is bad, just that it creates anxieties one did not previously have! I moved constantly as a child but the backbone of each move was within the Navy and thus a cocoon. We were happier, more well adjusted and content then!

  2. There was an episode of Vice this season on this:

    Basically it's because the natives were forced into integration with a Norwegian society that saw them as inferior and treated them like shit. When everyone treats you like shit and won't give you work, yeah, suicide might seem like a better option. Especially since science has discovered that dinosaurs still exist in the afterlife and you might be reincarnated as a Norwegian next time around!

  3. Isn't it pitch black there 6 months of the year, that's probably the cause of depression and suicide.

  4. Isn't it pitch black there 6 months of the year, that is probably the cause of the high suicide rate. There's more means to kill yourself nowadays then 100 years ago.


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