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From Fox 13 in Salt Lake City:

Research shows high altitude increases depression and suicide, especially for women
POSTED 6:34 PM, APRIL 1, 2019, BY ADAM HERBETS,

SALT LAKE CITY – Researchers at the University of Utah believe people who live at higher altitudes can become more depressed than people who live closer to sea level. The effect, they say, is especially noticeable in women.

Dr. Shami Kanekar … has studied the negative effects of altitude for years. Her research has shown that men and women don’t feel the effects of typical antidepressants at higher elevations.

Experiments also seem to indicate that women go through a chemical change in their brain when exposed to anything at or above “moderate” elevation, even for a relatively short period of time, Kanekar said.

“You see higher depression, higher anxiety in females, while males don’t seem to have that change,” Kanekar said.

Depression can lead to suicide, and suicide rates in Utah are significantly higher than the national average.

The Mountain West has fairly high suicide rates. Whether that’s due to high gun ownership, altitude or whatever I don’t know.

Anyway, I don’t know how good this researcher’s evidence is, but I’m always interested in medical research into the effects of altitude. I’ve been fascinated by altitude ever since I was introduced to topographic maps as an 11 year old Boy Scout.

There are a lot of beautiful places to retire to between Denver and Lake Tahoe, but it’s also tough to predict how your body will hold up to thin air later in life. This striked me as a relatively important topic for research, but I haven’t seen much research into this yet.

This strikes me as a relatively important topic for research, but I haven’t seen much research into this yet.

Sci-fi author Robert Heinlein lived in Colorado Springs (elevation at least 6000 feet) from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His books from this era (e.g., Have Space Suit, Will Travel) are often obsessed with air pressure. Heinlein had major cerebral problems from 1966-1969 and couldn’t write (that’s why his 1966 novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress represents his peak as a novelist). When he finally recovered, he found himself rich and famous due to hippies taking up Stranger in a Strange Land. He moved to Santa Cruz, CA to live at sea level.

 
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  1. Is this replicated in mice?

  2. Suicide is not suicide anymore, it’s rather a feature than a bug for many people, that you are allowed to commit suicide and can get even assisted and helped therewith if wanted. Zürich has one of the highest suicide rates in Switzerland, but it for sure is one of the most attractive cities too. Oh – Zürichs altitude is 400 m.

    Plus: The Swiss city La Chaux Fonds is one of the highest cities in Europe (1000 m) and ranks way behind Zürich and Schaffhausen with regard to suicides. La Chaux de Fonds is rather Catholic, Zürich and Schaffhausen are protestant.

  3. dearieme says:

    Obviously the US needs more Tibetan immigrants.

  4. I wonder if this explains why the Dutch are so happy … right up ’til they euthenise themselves.

    • LOL: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @SFG
  5. Puts a whole different spin on Almost Heaven. My mom’s family descended from coal-miners has struggled with depression, including myself. Marriage was the miracle cure.

  6. I’ve been fascinated by altitude ever since I was introduced to topographic maps as an 11 year old Boy Scout.

    My co-op job with Motorola Radio Systems involved among its duties refiling the topo maps used by all the EEs in system design. I struggled with efficiency in this task.

  7. Higher altitudes are more white + white people have higher suicide rate = racial confound ?

    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Wilkey
    , @Noman
  8. The stresses of being a Mormon are the reasons for the depression. That Church is very demanding and controlling of its members’ time, money, and behavior. Last year, the number three guy in the Church, Dieter Uchtdorf, was demoted and reassigned to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The high altitude states studied have not only the world’s highest concentration of Mormons but also a higher than national average percentage of Native American Indians with all of their health disparities.

    If you have two minutes, listen to the poor creature in the video who got sent home early from her mission.

  9. njguy73 says:

    It’s a good thing Colorado legalized pot. I say Utah and Wyoming legalize it, nay, mandate it.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  10. Topography is misogyny.

    Paleozoic Era: Land first appears. Women and minorities hardest hit (from effects of living above sea level).

    • Replies: @anonymous
  11. High altitude is often a direct factor in suicides. It is a well know fact that people with suicidal tendencies live longer lives when they live in single-story dwellings. Altitude kills! (It’s not the fall itself, actually, contrary to most people’s understanding, it’s the ending of said fall.)

    • Replies: @Cortes
  12. @The Alarmist

    Better yet, Death Valley, California is a very happy place… during the cool spells anyway.

    BTW, Steve Sailer, is that water tower still there in the Imperial Valley somewhere that has a “SEA LEVEL” marking WAY UP near the top of it?

  13. Anon[391] • Disclaimer says:
    @Triumph104

    Triumph, I don’t think the Mormon thing is really the issue. Utah is less than 50% Mormon at this point and less than half of those go to church.

    But what really contradicts your point is that the increased suicide rate holds true throughout the Rockies. Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Colorado all have increased suicide rates.

    As someone already mentioned, the biggest confound has got to be ethnicity. Those areas have high numbers of northern European descended whites and Native Americans. Those are two of the groups most likely to suffer from depression.

  14. Anon[391] • Disclaimer says:

    We will be able to look closely at the racial confound in about 20 years though. In 2018, only 39% of children entering the Utah public school system were white.

  15. “High Altitude Increases Depression and Suicide, Especially for Women”

    Research has also demonstrated this effect from having to work for a living. Disparate Impact again.

  16. “The Mountain West has fairly high suicide rates. Whether that’s due to high gun ownership, altitude or whatever I don’t know.”

    Texas has the most registered firearms in the US and its suicide rate is below the national average. However, there is significant correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates by state.

    What is seldom discussed is efficiency of suicide method, and guns are very efficient compared to attempts to self poison, hang/suffocate, wrist cut, etc. The latter methods allow an individual time to change their mind. A bullet to the head offers no such time to change one’s mind, other than into wall texture. So it is not unreasonable to suggest efficiency of method plays a huge part in why guns account for 50% of all successful suicides.

    A useful statistic would be suicide attempts per state, and after a quick search I could not find any data.

    Firearms are always a convenient scapegoat for violence. But just like with negros killing each other in US inner cities, guns are merely a symptom of a bigger problem.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @Feryl
  17. Jsmith says:
    @Triumph104

    Agreed. Click through to the article and look at the map. Mormon country, which explains why women commit suicide at higher rates.

    I am in my 50s and have lived in the Mountain West above 6000 feet for 20 years. Your body acclimates quickly.

  18. Publius says:

    I’ve definitely heard of this high altitude effect on depression before, but I think the more interesting effect that high altitude has is supposedly increased focus for people with ADD/ADHD.

    I’d like to say I’ve experienced some myself, but someone who thinks their mind is wandering less on a ski trip who hasn’t even been properly diagnosed with ADD is not good data. I’d really like to read more studies about high altitude on people.

  19. Don’t the high elevation areas also have older populations? Like cancer, suicide risk tends to increase in the aged.

  20. We were taught in school the Incas would condemn miscreants from the low-lands to the high altitude cities/areas. And miscreants from the high altitude areas to the low-lands. Which, if it didn’t kill them, made their lives miserable.

  21. Anon[320] • Disclaimer says:

    There are a lot of beautiful places to retire to between Denver and Lake Tahoe, but it’s also tough to predict how your body will hold up to thin air later in life.

    Steve’s looking to cash out on his Valley home and flee to Mountain Daylight Time. It’s never tho late to become a Mormon.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  22. I’ve speculated that depression originated as post-partum depression. The toughest choice a mammal has to make is a female deciding whether she can care for a newborn in her current environment, or would she better off committing infanticide now for the sake of having more and/or healthier offspring in the future, when food supplies might be better.

    High altitude could generate the same “bad environment” triggers as low food supplies.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  23. Anon[320] • Disclaimer says:

    I was a map freak too, ordering all kinds of stuff from the USGS. As an adult I discovered Steve Roper’s book Sierra High Route, an off trail backpacking route following the Sierra Ridge, roughly, north-south. It required no real rock climbing, just occasional exposure, class 3, and was based on 7.5 minute USGS topos, sadly extinct. The relevant topo sections are reproduced in the book. It’s a great armchair adventurer book for map and above the timberline Sierra fans.

  24. Flip says:

    There is research showing lower death rates for people living at higher altitudes.

    https://roguehealthandfitness.com/higher-altitude-means-much-lower-death-rates/

  25. Wilkey says:

    I would call this a pretty strong suggestion of a link.

    One thing to look forward to: as more and more native-born Americans are pushed into the Rockies, thanks to the costs of living on the coasts (driven by mass immigration and left-wing tax policies) you can expect our overall suicide rate to continue to climb.

    Thanks, open borders folks!

  26. liljoe says:
    @Triumph104

    Two minutes! The poor girl was rambling for over 8 minutes…I get your point but way off on time, like not even close

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  27. Wilkey says:
    @Triumph104

    The stresses of being a Mormon are the reasons for the depression. That Church is very demanding and controlling of its members’ time, money, and behavior. Last year, the number three guy in the Church, Dieter Uchtdorf, was demoted and reassigned to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The high altitude states studied have not only the world’s highest concentration of Mormons but also a higher than national average percentage of Native American Indians with all of their health disparities.

    I’m an ex-Mormon and not really a fan of the LDS Church, especially since they began sticking their noses into the immigration issue, where they (and Uchtdorf in particular), are of course pro-open borders.

    But other than the part about the Church demanding too much money, pretty much everything you just wrote is bullshit.

    See the link I posted above. Among the Rocky Mountain states, Utah has one of the lowest age-adjusted rates of suicide. Among Rocky Mountain states only Arizona has a lower suicide rate than Utah. Utah’s rate is lower than Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico – despite being whiter and more Mormon than all of them. Nevada is only about 6% Mormon, and Colorado and New Mexico are only about 3% Mormon. White suicide rates are higher than all but Native Americans.

    I’m also not sure it’s fair to classify Uchtdorf as being demoted – or what that has to do with the subject of suicide – though I certainly wish it were the case. Uchtdorf is an ass, and has been outspoken on the issue of immigration.

    Whenever a Mormon “prophet” dies, the new prophet, who is always the most senior apostle, chooses a first and second counselor. Uchtdorf was one of Thomas Monson’s counselors. When Monson died the new prophet, Russell M. Nelson, chose not to keep him. That may be slightly unusual but it’s not exactly shocking or unprecedented. Unfortunately, given the fact that the Church appears not to have changed directions at all on the immigration issue, Nelson’s decision probably has nothing to do with Uchtdorf’s beliefs on immigration.

    • Replies: @BB753
    , @Buzz Mohawk
  28. Wilkey says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Higher altitudes are more white + white people have higher suicide rate = racial confound?

    Maybe. See the map I posted. New England’s rates are among the lowest in the country. The South has relatively high rates despite having lots of blacks. States like Iowa and Nebraska also have pretty low suicide rates despite being fairly white.

    Suicide is one of those issues that’s hard to get a handle on. So many confounding variables. So many explanations that seem likely to make sense but possibly don’t. Perhaps looking at each race separatel

    • Replies: @pirelli
    , @Feryl
  29. Liza says:

    As some folks here have hinted, living in high altitude areas is a marker for other things.

  30. If you look at a heat map of suicide rates, it closely resembles a topographic map.
    A lot of Mormons who go to train for their mission at altitude, having been on ADD stimulants their whole life, find they can suddenly go off them. Lower oxygen levels increase brain dopamine levels. And I know several people who just “feel better” at higher altitudes.

  31. FozzieT says:

    I have a family member who lives in Breckenridge (9500 ft altitude). Whenever I visit (I live at 1300 ft) I get slow and sluggish. On the other hand, virtually everyone who lives there is into some type of endurance sport. I’ve always wondered whether the lack of O2 at that altitude has some type of causal effect on why everyone there seems addicted to these long aerobic activities.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  32. Len says:

    but it’s also tough to predict how your body will hold up to thin air later in life.

    ? Tough to predict at any stage of your life. Would be interested in reading why it’s more problematic when you get older.

    The volunteer docs who work along the Annapurna Circuit give a presentation on altitude sickness at one of the villages. They claim older people are at less risk of a headache, due to brain ‘shrinkage’.

  33. @Anonymous Rice Alum 4

    I’ve speculated that depression originated as post-partum depression. The toughest choice a mammal has to make is a female deciding whether she can care for a newborn in her current environment, or would she better off committing infanticide now for the sake of having more and/or healthier offspring in the future, when food supplies might be better.

    ? PPD has nothing to do with choice. These women just go nuts & that’s all.

  34. High altitude causes the “Big Sky” effect of high clouds and bright skies. For me and, I think, most people, it’s pretty much the opposite of depressing and makes one feel relaxed and optimistic.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  35. Anecdotally, I have thought about this and even discussed it with a psychiatrist.

    Two years after my family moved from sea level to 7,800 feet, I came down with severe OCD. A year later, at age 15, I tried to kill myself by taking a bottleful of sleeping pills on a mountainside. I had gone from being a star student to being unable to even complete my homework.

    Two or three years later, my best friend’s sister sat up against a pine tree in the woods and blew her brains out with a shotgun.

    Not long after that, in college at one mile up, still with OCD running 90% of my brain in an infinite loop, I bought a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and started thinking about sticking it in my mouth and pulling the trigger. I told a counselor at the country mental health center about this, and a couple of nice policemen showed up at my door to give me 72 hours to think it over. I’m still here, many years later, now at sea level, with no similar plans, just a dark sense of humor and fewer loops in my programming.

    I could go on, but I’m not in the mood right now.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  36. Even in the 70s and 80s when people were talking about what utopias the Scandinavian countries were, they’d still always add, ‘but they have a very high suicide rate.’

    Because of the lack of sunlight or something. They have better reasons now.

  37. pirelli says:
    @Wilkey

    I’m assuming they controlled for higher altitude areas being, on average, more sparsely populated than lower altitude areas, which we already know correlates with higher suicide rate. If they didn’t, then this study is pretty meaningless.

  38. Wilkey says:
    @FozzieT

    I have a family member who lives in Breckenridge (9500 ft altitude)…virtually everyone who lives there is into some type of endurance sport. I’ve always wondered whether the lack of O2 at that altitude has some type of causal effect on why everyone there seems addicted to these long aerobic activities.

    Breck is a ski town. It’s 95.6% white and the average price of a single family home is over a million. It attracts upper-middle class types who are outdoorsy and like to be physically active. I doubt many of those highly active people you met are natives, and they certainly aren’t descended from the people who lived there during the mining era.

    • Replies: @FozzieT
  39. Anon[145] • Disclaimer says:

    My comments are in regard to the data I have, which is for White males between 20 and 55. The source is the Census Bureau.

    The entire West, until the coast, also coincides with dramatically less population density that, in turn, coincides with the desert.

    The suicide zone continues into and completely covers Northern California, to include Redding, which has a low altitude. The suicide rate is better in most of the South, but the South is as bad as the West in the poorest White parts.

    From what I see, there are two primary variables at play that are likely to exclude elevation. If I were to draw a conclusion from the geographically visualized data for White male suicide between ages 20 and 55, I would conclude that the two most important variables in suicide are isolation and extreme poverty. A third variable is also implied by the data, which is a lower ratio of marriage-age females to males in any given region. However, this variable seems to have a weaker correlation.

    To avoid conditions bad for mental health I would avoid low population and poor areas, which includes all of the Mountain West, the Desert West, a good portion of the South to include TexArkana, Arkansas, and Houston, and Florida.

    Denver , Salt Lake City, and Boise are slightly better on a relative scale but not near as good as the New England, the Midwest, the West Coast (except for NoCal and Southern Oregon), and the Mid Atlantic regions for Mental Health. They aren’t even as good as parts of the South.

    The most mentally healthy places to live for the afore-stated demographic seem to be most of New England and NY, Central PA and MD, Raleigh NC, Ohio, Southwestern Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Central-South Minnesota (Twin Cities on down), Eastern Nebraska, Eastern Iowa, Austin TX, Most of CA except the North, and Seattle.

    I recommend using the tool at the Census Website to make your own map, using the parameters that you find most useful.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  40. BB753 says:
    @Wilkey

    OT: Is it true modern Mormonism has become an offshoot of freemasonry?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @FPD72
    , @Crawfurdmuir
  41. KunioKun says:

    I like “research indicates” so much more than “research shows.”

    I experienced depression two years ago shortly after an injury that I thought was going to kill me. Before that I thought depression was baloney used by attention whores and babies, which it probably still is but for some people it is the real deal. I had uncontrollable feelings that I knew were ridiculous to have so I knew it must be some kind of chemical that was released during the five minutes or so when I thought I was going to die. One of the things that really helped for me was looking up at the blue sky. I got it right at the beginning of spring so it was perfect timing for me. It lasted about eight months. It definitely changed me permanently.

  42. @Buzz Mohawk

    Obsessing again: “Not long after that” means several years. I attended college late and took a long time (because of these problems). I was finally in my last semester in fact, at a later age than normal for most people.

    See? Some loops keep running…

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  43. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    Appalachian whites are a notable punching bag WRT supposed white degeneracy, so how come their suicide rate is lower?

    I would think that Appalachia still has some semblance of “family culture”/connectedness intact. Whereas many people in the Western interior are far removed from their extended family’s roots elsewhere. Infrequent contact with one’s family is more likely to create anomie/depression.

    There’s also the general rule that in the US, the further South and West you go the more dysfunctional (white) people tend to be, with Texas a notable outlier in this regard.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @Sam Coulton
  44. Feryl says:
    @Wilkey

    What happened throughout American history is that the misfits generally were drawn to the “frontier”. The stable and responsible people stayed in the Northeast.

    The Upper Midwest is very Teutonic, and seems to have selected for pro-social people since the Ellis Island days (while the Southern and Western US have always been much more Social Darwinist, un-egalitarian, and pessimistic about human affairs).

    Interestingly, from the late 1960’s-early 2000’s the trend was to favor presidents from the South (The Bushes, Carter, Clinton) or the West (Nixon, Reagan*). Obama was minor exception to this (choosing to live in the Eastern US after growing up in Hawaii/Indonesia), and Trump totally is of the East. And the likely match-up in 2020 will be Biden (PA) Vs Trump, marking the 2nd election in a row where the major candidates are firmly from the East.

    *Reagan was ensconced in California for many decades before becoming president. By the time he ran, nobody thought of him as a Midwesterner

  45. SFG says:
    @The Alarmist

    I always wondered how much of those statistics reflected happiness and how much is the culture in question’s tendency to avoid admitting unhappiness. The Nordics, for example, always do well in those studies, but have high suicide rates and produced Ingmar Bergman, the Lisbeth Salander novels, and death metal.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  46. Feryl says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    Texas has the most registered firearms in the US and its suicide rate is below the national average. However, there is significant correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates by state.

    Texas tends to best the other Sun-belt states in many regards; a low-ish suicide rate is not that surprising.

    I assume that high gun ownership is very common in heavily Scots-Irish regions, who are of course notoriously dysfunctional compared to the white-American mean. Puritan Brits and Teutons are less enthusiastic about gun ownership*, since they tend to shy away from dangerous things to begin with (and the Slavs/Italians/Jews who’ve been in the Northeast and Midwest since the Ellis Island days have assimilated to Anglo-Teutonic norms of pro-social behavior).

    *My dad hasn’t owned a gun in over 25 years, my mom has never owned a gun. Me and my brother have never had any interest in owning a gun. We’ve lived in MN during this period.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  47. SFG says:
    @Feryl

    I’m not interested on picking on Appalachians either, but poverty and a low suicide rate would fit.

    Suicide is one of the few bad things (demographically) that increases with money. Probably if you grow up rich you get used to everything going your way, and then when it doesn’t, you think you can’t deal. We always hear about rich kids who get addicted to drugs, etc.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  48. Cortes says:

    This

    https://www.hoybolivia.com/movil/noticia.php?IdNoticia=295255

    states that Bolivian men commit suicide more than women. Especially in La Paz.

  49. Daniel H says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    >>See? Some loops keep running…

    I know what you mean, precisely. The anxiety is worse than the accompanying depression. I should be too old for this stuff, but it still gets me. Every day. One day I will lay my burden down, but still have miles to go, and promises to keep.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  50. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Old people like to retire to sea level in Florida. Is it just the warmth and humidity, which correlate with altitude, or is the lower altitude itself an additional feature retirees prefer?

  51. well known. not new information. but nobody knows why for sure.

    it’s the altitude. has nothing to do with firearms. they’ve corrected for all that.

    it’s probably the air more specifically, and not the altitude.

    random stab in the dark: oxygen concentration is already about 15% less at only 5000 feet. and gets lower as you go up every 1000 feet.

    maybe a lifetime of lower oxygen in the neurons in the brain damages them, causing malfunction. red blood cell oxygen transport compensation can only do so much.

    animals in the ocean have the same problem except in reverse. the deeper you go, the older the oxygen is and harder to extract the oxygen molecules from the sea water. the oxygen at the bottom of the deep ocean and in the trenches can be 100 years old.

  52. prosa123 says:

    My guess is that many people who are at loose ends move to the Mountain West to live off the grid, but they can’t run away from their inner turmoils.
    Here’s a lengthy article about a troubled man who moved to a very rural mountainous part of Oregon in what turned out to be a failed attempt to turn his life around. While suicide wasn’t involved, he ended up (probably wrongly) accused of murder and has been sitting in the county jail for three years awaiting trial. There’s quite a bit in the article about the mindset of the off the grid types.

    https://magazine.atavist.com/outlaw-country-klamath-county-oregon-guns-murder

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  53. Dtbb says:

    Maybe it is because of the stress that gays feel trying to figure out baking times at high altitude forcing them to use homophobic professional bakers.

    • LOL: Cortes
  54. In modren social “science”, is there any bad thing that women don’t suffer from more acutely , or any good thing that only women can create? It’s such an extraordinary state of affairs one may wonder if there is some guiding hand or hands behind the phenomenon.

  55. @Hypnotoad666

    Yup. I love the mountains and I’ve loved every time I’ve been out West.

    I hope to move there before I get too much older, but jobs in my field are not that easy to come by.

  56. Everest is the highest point from sea level, Mauna Kea from sea floor, and Chimborazo from the center of the Earth. How do the suicide rates of their locals compare?

    Ironically, the lowest elevation of any airfield is that of Masada, a place famous for suicide and nothing else.

    Bar Yehuda Airfield (LLMZ | MTZ)

    City Masada
    Name Bar Yehuda Airfield
    ICAO LLMZ
    IATA MTZ
    Type Medium Airport

    Coordinates
    Lat: 31.3281993866 (31°19’41″N)
    Lng: 35.3885993958 (35°23’18″E)

    Elevation -1266.00ft

    https://www.greatcirclemapper.net/en/airport/MTZ-LLMZ-bar-yehuda-airfield.html

    • Replies: @International Jew
  57. @Feryl

    There’s also the general rule that in the US, the further South and West you go the more dysfunctional (white) people tend to be, with Texas a notable outlier in this regard.

    As Frank Lloyd Wright said, the country is tilted southwest, as everything loose winds up in California.

    However, gravitation or the magnetic poles may have shifted in recent decades, because Florida Man has long surpassed California:

    • Replies: @Dtbb
    , @Feryl
  58. Is this temperature adjusted? Because higher altitude typically means colder temps. Colder temps means more time inside. More time inside means cabin fever. Lack of sunlight causes vitamin D and B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency causes “brain fog” and is associated with depression.

  59. Dtbb says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    What has 80 legs and 4 teeth? The bar where that couple took the motorized shopping cart. I have been there.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  60. Cortes says:
    @Dtbb

    How many teeth did you contribute?

    • Replies: @Dtbb
  61. yeah, i live out in the mountain west now up over 1 mile in elevation…lived in texas all my life…moved here about 8 years ago for a job…it seems to have affected my mental outlook…more emotional now…and other things…it may be just me getting old…but I don’t know ….it’s probably the elevation, at least in part..getting get out of here when i retire…which won’t be long now..

  62. Dtbb says:
    @Cortes

    Lol. I sat at a table.

  63. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123

    The “Most Armed Man in America” is an older Jewish guy originally from Brooklyn who lives alone on his Colorado Springs compound with his enormous cache of weapons. His wife died several years ago on the property when a smoke bomb went off accidentally. He has 4 female mannequins inside his home that he dresses up and talks to.

    Was he always this nutty? Or did living in Colorado Springs make him nutty? Maybe he was always a little bit nutty, and then living in Colorado Springs just made him nuttier?

  64. @njguy73

    Pot makes people crabby and miserable. They don’t think it does. “IT DOES NOT MAKE ME CRABBY AND MISERABLE!!!!” they scream.

  65. You’ll just believe any damn study, no matter how stupid, won’t you?

    Oh, yeah–except one that proves blacks superior.

  66. Dark says:
    @Triumph104

    Yikes, that’s wild stuff. What’s the deal with Mormons and suicide, do they kill themselves in high numbers? Would not have thought that.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  67. Feryl says:
    @SFG

    Suicide is one of the few bad things (demographically) that increases with money. Probably if you grow up rich you get used to everything going your way, and then when it doesn’t, you think you can’t deal. We always hear about rich kids who get addicted to drugs, etc.

    There’s also regression to the mean; a lot of people resent the children of the well-to-do because these kids have money and connections but not necessarily the brains or integrity of their parents. Those rich kids have the money and social support to overcome a drug problem, though, whereas lower class people are SOL.

    I think that depression/low self-esteem are highly heritable. People who are quick to bounce back from a set-back are generally going to be in good shape and they will usually have children who display these traits. My advice is: don’t have kids with someone who comes from a lineage full of depressed and neurotic people.

    • Replies: @BB753
  68. Feryl says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    However, gravitation or the magnetic poles may have shifted in recent decades, because Florida Man has long surpassed California:

    Right, CA was ground zero for the Boomer counter-culture (and serial killers), but since the late 80’s the state has settled down considerably (not withstanding the delusional claims made by Boomers that Mexicans ruined the state after 1986). Florida does seem to be ground zero for misfits these days.

  69. @SFG

    don’t forget Henrik Ibsen, shudder.

  70. @Daniel H

    May all those miles be easy ones, and may all your stops by the woods be pleasant.

  71. @liljoe

    I listened for two minutes. I could have stopped at thirty seconds with no information compromise.

  72. FozzieT says:
    @Wilkey

    Yeah, I get that. But why at 9500 feet altitude? There are plenty of places to be outdoorsy but it seems like the higher the altitude the more concentrated the endurance activities.

  73. @Feryl

    Puritan Brits and Teutons are less enthusiastic about gun ownership

    Thanks to a low incidence of crime, there is one less reason to own one.

    If you by-and-large trust your neighbors, you won’t care about their guns, but also won’t feel a need to have one yourself. Gun ownership thus tends to atrophy in safer urban areas. There is less resistance to disarmament because it doesn’t affect you.

    So the gun-law gap between rural and urban New England is as wide as anywhere in the US.

  74. Mike1 says:
    @Triumph104

    Being a Mormon is a huge part of this. This religion is essentially the Taliban when it come to women (not being dramatic btw). They are trained to appear outwardly normal but they live rigidly controlled lives.
    Another clue is in the full article “Skiing is supposed to make people happy, but that doesn’t always end up being the case for people with depression.” You need rigorous exercise to feel good in the mountains during winter. Very few women ski regularly (although many claim they do).

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  75. Mike1 says:
    @Anon

    Ummm, you’ve just described where Mormons live…

    Not going to disagree there are probably multiple factors at play but you need to know the basics.

  76. JMcG says:
    @Anon

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have to point out though that Central PA, at least, is being very hard hit by the heroin epidemic.

  77. @Wilkey

    People focusing on Mormons might be missing the point here. I lived out there half my life and knew a lot of Mormons, but they were conventional people compared to all the different “evangelicals.” (We didn’t used to use that word. It was just “fundamentalists,” “born agains,” or just “Bible thumpers.”)

    It seemed like every time I turned around, there was another weird little church of people who take the Bible literally, word-for-word, and look at you like you are a poor, lost sinner. They have the answer, the real truth, right there in their little cult, um, excuse me, church.

    The Mountain West is an amazing amalgam of Christian offshoots, pyramid schemes, New Age dopes, and door-to-door salesmen. It’s like a trip back at least a hundred years in the past, to when elixer salesmen would show up on horse-drawn wagons.

    Still a lot of suckers our there. Sorry.

  78. @Feryl

    There’s also the general rule that in the US, the further South and West you go the more dysfunctional (white) people tend to be, with Texas a notable outlier in this regard.

    in what alternate reality is this true? the drug/suicide crisis is concentrated in the midwest/east. southwest whites (the few who still exist there) are upper middle class and earn way more than central/eastern USA whites. ron unz found that in texas white people have a higher age-adjusted crime rate than freaking Mexicans. you sound like somebody who tried your best to make it out west and failed hard. fits the description of most people in the south (especially Texas).

    • Replies: @Icy Blast
  79. I’ve lived in Denver most of my life (as I’ve mentioned before) and I’ve always found it rather depressing. There is a certain artificiality about the place that you can never get away from. It’s like someone just decided to build a giant Potemkin city out on the unpromising steppes. There is no justification for it, no sense of naturalness or rootedness; it just sort of hangs there in the air like Lando Calrissian’s gas mining platform—a creation of abstract thought and abstract money, but not growing organically out of the Earth.

    If you wander out to the edge of the recently constructed suburbs, you can literally find the place where the sidewalk ends, and with it the entire city and its spirit. There, at the end of the last street, the artificial world abruptly terminates in a freshly poured concrete curb, which like a membrane or a callus encloses the soggy sod of the McMansions, perpetually watered in the glaring sun. One step beyond that is the wilderness, the lonesome prairie appearing like an uncoiffed, rustic maiden set beside the silicone bimbos of the city. There, simply by turning around 180 degrees, you can fix your eyes on two completely different worlds, the one existing eternally and for itself, full of starlight and the beckoning wind; the other permeating it like fracking fluid, like mold through an aging cheese. I’ve always found this contrast to be deeply depressing. There at that boundary, I, an unwilling denizen of the suburbs, must stare at the prairie like a prisoner beholding his narrow slice of sky.

    But this should have little to do with the suicide rate, for I am unlike most. The vast majority of people here are here because they want to be. They like living in the artificial world which is the mirror of their abstract intellect. On the other hand, if they somehow find themselves ejected from that world through misfortune or incompetence, they won’t be able to deal with the nature that encroaches on them like weeds in the pavement. Shaken loose, they fall like dead leaves into the drifts and gutters of hopelessness, into irrelevance, into oblivion.

  80. @Reg Cæsar

    Haha.

    As it happens, the death rate among people who find themselves near the top of Mt Everest is extremely high. Given they all went up there voluntarily, those deaths are, sorta, suicides.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @prosa123
  81. When I was in Denali in June, I noticed I felt giddy and elated. As another commenter remarked, have these results been corrected for winter temperatures and length of winter? What about the Andes? A friend just got back from 3 weeks in Bolivia at 12,000 feet, and said he felt tired and out of breath, but I need to ask him about mental state.

    • Replies: @Noman
  82. anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    No. You don’t get it at all, do you?

    Last time I checked, Himalayan peoples and Andean peoples are colored and do just fine at high altitude.

  83. Anon[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    OT: Is it true modern Mormonism has become an offshoot of freemasonry?

    I have studied Mormonism in-depth. Its difficult to know freemasonry without being a member, but I know something about it.

    From what I have read, Freemasons dislike Mormonism as they consider it to both be something that took much from them while changing enough to change the meaning. Mormons deny having anything significant in-common with Freemasonry. I would guess that the the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    A better source of study would likely be Mormonism’s roots in the Swedenborg religion, as well as Judaism with which Mormonism shares many core tenets that go well beyond normative Christianity (like the purpose of the Fall, the lack of a metaphysical concept, the basis of the mythology and identity, their eschatology, etc). Keep in mind that the theology of Mormonism was likely largely crafted by a Jewish Rabbi.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
  84. @Anon

    Another delusional comment. Northern Europeans are the least likely to suffer depression among Europeans, although this may be due to the extreme economic problems in southern Europe, which also seem to be affecting their fertility:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924103500.htm

    in the USA there is no difference between Euro ethnic groups with regards to depression.

  85. FPD72 says:
    @BB753

    Joseph Smith was a Freemason. Many of the Later Day Saint rites and ceremonies were copied from the Freemasons. Smith ever referred to Mormonism as restored Freemasonry.

  86. @International Jew

    As it happens, the death rate among people who find themselves near the top of Mt Everest is extremely high. Given they all went up there voluntarily, those deaths are, sorta, suicides.

    George Mallory’s body was found decades after his disappearance. We really don’t know if he was on the way up or down, and if he had beaten Edmund Hillary by years.

    “Because it is there” was said about Mallory, not by him. Everest is still there, and so were you, George, for quite some time.

    Everest, Mallory, and Hillary are all Norman Conquest names. Appropriately, Mallory means “unlucky”, and Hillary “happy”.

    As for Everest, you could do worse than check out the soft Latin music of Minneapolitan Robert Everest.

    http://www.rkeverest.net/

    • Replies: @Cortes
  87. BB753 says:
    @Feryl

    “My advice is: don’t have kids with someone who comes from a lineage full of depressed and neurotic people.”

    If Jews followed your advice they’d go extinct! Are you antisemitic? Lol!

  88. BB753 says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Man, you need to get out of there!

  89. Icy Blast says:
    @Sam Coulton

    Most of these comments simply reflect the need for people in the U.S.A. to feel superior to others. If I were stuck in someplace like Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, or Louisiana, and I didn’t think I could afford to move, I would probably manufacture reasons for remaining.

    Tourists visiting the U.S.A. typically go to Hawaii, parts of California, and the Rocky Mountain states. They do not go to Michigan, Mississippi, or Missouri. Many will visit New York City just to say they went there, to feel the thrill of danger, and to take pictures of giant rats.

    I live in a small town in Wyoming. Every summer we get busloads of smiling Chinese tourists who have come to see Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota, among other wonders. And once in a while I will go to one of the local brewery-pubs, which are staffed by tall, outgoing young ladies of Scandinavian and German origin. What a miserable life! How I wish I were in Baltimore! Or Pittsburgh! Now those are centers of high culture!

    By the way, basing an article, however brief, on U.S. government statistics, is just plain dumb.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  90. Icy Blast says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The original Denver did develop “organically,” as you put it. It was a cow town, a major hub of the beef industry. That’s as noble an origin as any, if you ask me.

    Now it is a major hub of the Hipster Coffeehouse industry, and it has a steadily rising crime rate. That’s what millions of Americans want, apparently, and that’s what they get.

    Maybe the problem is that it is on the edge of the vast, lonely prairie, at the foot of the Back Range. If it were smaller and higher up, like Glenwood Springs, it would no doubt be a more cheerful and optimistic place, even for a brooding literary genius capable of hauntingly beautiful, lyrical prose.

  91. @Dark

    Shiny, happy people disease. They’re like other UMC whites, but they don’t have the outlet of hating deplorables together.

  92. @obwandiyag

    I’ve never understood the mystique around pot. I’ve tried it a few times, and it’s been a very meh experience each time.

    • Agree: bruce county
    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    , @Feryl
  93. @Mike1

    Very few women ski regularly (although many claim they do).

    Oh…don’t tell the ski industry or the outdoor magazine industry that…according to them there are tons of stunning and brave women ready to schuss your ass right off the mountain.

    The actual reality is that a large segment of young women stop skiing regularly after high school, and the remainder might last through their undergrad years.

  94. If this is a real thing, it should be especially evident across parts of Latin America, from Mexico to Bolivia, with many large cities over 7,000 ft. Also many other high altitude cities in hot climates, from the Middle East to South Africa. I suspect the effect is too small to tease out.

  95. @BB753

    No. Joseph Smith was a Freemason, and incorporated elements of Freemasonry into Mornonism. There is, however, very little crossover – Mormons quite seldom become Freemasons.

    • Replies: @BB753
  96. I have to agree.. my ex was always upset when she had to go upstairs to bed…

  97. @Triumph104

    19th century psychology had a name for what this young woman is describing: “hysterics.” We’re not supposed to call it that anymore, but that hasn’t made it go away.

  98. Cortes says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Moult

    Ted was best known for his appearances in Everest double glazing adverts and died eating…his gun.

  99. prosa123 says:
    @International Jew

    As it happens, the death rate among people who find themselves near the top of Mt Everest is extremely high. Given they all went up there voluntarily, those deaths are, sorta, suicides.

    One could argue that it really isn’t true in the case of the Sherpas, who account for the majority of the deaths. While no one forces them to be there, they can make orders of magnitude more money as guides than doing anything else in Nepal, so it’s a strong compulsion.

  100. The suicide rate in the Nordics is actually not particular high, with the exception of Finland. It is on par with North America, South Europe and Africa. Russia, China, Japan and so on are 2-3 times higher per 100.000. Also: the suicide rate is highest in May when the days are long and light, not in the long dark days of the winter half year.

  101. Anonymous[118] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve:

    1. I think he moved down because Ginny was having issues with the altitude.

    2. Speaking of topo map fascination, there is an RAH story about the sea reaching into Imperial Valley.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  102. @Anon

    They also got guns. I wonder how southern folks do re suicide…

  103. @Anon

    Dear Leader,come back to Chicago. We’re getting a casino,and pot! Well get you a nice place in Streeterville,the missus will love it.
    Just watch out for the you know who!

  104. Liza says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    You certainly have a way with words. Five stars for your comment.

  105. BB753 says:
    @Crawfurdmuir

    I suppose once you’re a Mormon, you don’t need to belong to any other secret society.

  106. @Intelligent Dasein

    Remember the Denver Airport that they were trying to build,and it kept having problems? Some speculated an Injun curse .
    I guess it finally got built.
    If I was flying out of Denver tho, I’d say a few Hail Marys . Couldn’t hoyt!

  107. @Anonymous

    Right. A traveling salesman is selling in a below sea level town southeast of Palm Springs. An earthquake lowers the range of hills that keeps the Gulf of California from extending a couple of hundred miles north. Trouble ensues.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  108. Noman says:
    @Almost Missouri

    White people can’t rely on other white people to shoot them for disrespect.
    White people thus are forced to die by their own hand.

    Simply, Black males don’t have time to contemplate suicide and thus homicide rates are way up for Blacks and suicide rates are way down.

  109. Noman says:
    @obwandiyag

    Don’t harsh my buzz man!

  110. Olorin says:
    @obwandiyag

    Crabby, miserable, hostile, paranoid, impulsive, anxious, and immature.

    And you’re correct, IME. I swear I’ve witnessed a distinct uptick in puerile public snitting in WA state since legalization.

    I’d wager that some chunk of Orange Man Bad and sky-screaming has been engineered into them by this drug.

  111. Yngvar says:

    The Nordic suicide might be a form of altruism; not being a burden to the clan, for whatever ail.

  112. @Icy Blast

    I like your handle since you live in WY.

    A friend just visited from outside Fort Collins, CO. She says they’re 30 minutes or so from Cheyenne. So I said, “Oh, so you get the two seasons: winter and 4th of July.” She laughed and said it had just snowed when they left (June 6 or so).

    The mountains are beautiful, but you’d better love cold for most of the year, and plenty of large mosquitoes during summer.

  113. @The Wild Geese Howard

    It made me vomit violently. If there’s a mystique to it, it must be because throwing up takes you to a whole new level of consciousness. Like, “I want to live, God. Please get me through the next 20 seconds.”

  114. BB753 says:
    @Anon

    Interesting! Do we know who this rabbi was and why did he work with Joseph Smith to create Mormon theology?

  115. Feryl says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Most heavy stoners act pretty addled…..Just slower on the uptake than they would be if they were sober.

    I just think that some people can’t be comfortable in their own skin, so they need pot or booze (or worse, speed or heroin or coke) to become someone else.

    A local radio show, whenever pot comes up, has hosts who laugh about how lethargic the self-reported pot smokers come across as being when they call in.

    The most annoying thing about druggies is how defensive they are about their habits, either saying they don’t have any negative effects at all from usage (as if harshly coughing from pot smoke is healthy), or as you point out, dramatizing the positive effects* like they’ve been brought closer to Zen or God or something.

    I also understand that drug users are much more likely to self-ID as strong liberals, so, uh, draw your own conclusions.

    *There’s a psycho-somatic component to using this stuff. Pot culture is supposed to be cool and laid-back, so pot users expect to chill out, regardless of the literal effect of the drug.

  116. dvorak says:

    We need a debate series between Sailer and Coulter: Flock to Denver for the high radiation or flee to sea level for the air.

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2011-03-16.html

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