mon BD blues

The birthday effect (sometimes called the birthday blues, especially when referring specifically to suicide) is a statistical phenomenon where an individual’s likelihood of death appears to increase on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies of general populations in England and Wales, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, as well as in smaller populations such as Major League Baseball players. Studies do not consistently show this correlation; some find that men’s and women’s mortality rates diverge in the run-up to the birthday, while others find no significant change. Suggested mechanisms for the effect include alcohol consumption, psychological stress relating to the birthday, increased suicide risk, terminally ill patients attempting to hold on until their birthday, an increased mortality salience, or a physiological cycle that causes the body to weaken annually. It has also been suggested that it may be a statistical artifact, perhaps as a result of anomalies in reporting, but the birthday effect has also been seen in studies that control for known reporting anomalies. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the birthday effect.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most difficult birthday you’ve ever had.

Art Prompt: Birthday 

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Birthday Effect and give them suggestions how they can help their loved ones move through it.

Photo Credit: Rebecca on Flickr

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