Suicide rate’s increase can be tied to social media, technology: Dr. Marc Siegel

The tragic deaths of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade has renewed the public’s attention to an alarming rate of suicides, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Fox News Medical A Team’s Dr. Marc Siegel told FOX Business that the anger and divisiveness found on social media has contributed to an increase in suicides throughout the country.

“It’s more than social media, it’s the whole way technology has kept us away from each other,” Dr. Siegel said in an interview on “The Intelligence Report.”

Suicide rates in the U.S have risen more than 25% since 1999, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016, and more than half of the people who took their own lives did not have a known mental health condition.

Dr. Siegel said the type of disassociation found in the everyday use of cell phones and social media interaction defeats basic human emotions.

“There’s less communication. There’s less hugging. There’s less kissing. There’s less caring. There’s less loving,” he said.

Communication through the means of technology may provide further isolation for individuals because the image demonstrated through social media is not a true presentation of oneself, according to Dr. Siegel.

“It may interfere with bonds that you make,” he said. “There might not be as much decency or morality or true caring.”

Bourdain, 61, was found dead from an apparent suicide in a hotel room in France. The award-winning chef was working on an upcoming episode of his show “Parts Unknown” about culinary traditions all over the world for CNN.

His passing comes just three days after Spade killed herself at her New York City apartment at the age of 55.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.