Sedatives greatly increase the risk of suicide in the elderly, Swedish researchers say.
In their study, hypnotic medication also was linked with a greater likelihood of suicides in older people. “Sedative treatment was associated with an almost 14-fold increase of suicide risk in the crude analysis and remained an independent risk factor for suicide even after adjustment for the presence of mental disorders,” wrote Anders Carlsten, of Gothenburg University. “Having a current prescription for a hypnotic was associated with a fourfold increase in suicide risk in the adjusted model.”
The drugs may increase suicide risk in the elderly by triggering aggressive or impulsive behavior, or by providing the means to take an overdose, the researchers said. It’s also possible that sedatives may merely be markers for other factors related to suicide, such as sleep disturbance, lack of a social network, interpersonal problems, alcohol abuse and physical disability.
Or maybe it’s because it makes them feel dead already? People want to control the elderly just like they want to control others whom they’re not sure how to handle.