A recent report released by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the suicide rate among Americans aged 45 to 54 has soared by 20% since 1999 and is now at its highest point in at least 25 years. By contrast, suicides for Americans in their 20's increased by only 1% during the same time period. Click here for the article I found on this issue.
The article did not speculate on the cause of this disturbing increase. I will offer one possible factor which has evolved gradually in U.S. society over the past decade or so. There is a growing community of Americans who are referred to as the "sandwich generation", and they are typically in their late 40's to early 50's. These are individuals who find themselves providing for and supporting not just their minor children, but their elderly parents as well. In other words, they are "sandwiched" by the responsibility created by their children who have not reached the age of majority and by one or both of their parents who is suffering from Alzheimer's or some other type of degenerative disease.
The degree of stress that is created by this dual caregiver role is nearly impossible to overstate, and to suggest that people in this category are contributing to the increased suicide rate for their age group is not far-fetched. And as the American population continues to age over the next couple of decades, we can expect to see this issue become much more of a concern for U.S. society in general.