Piggybacking on the sad story of Sylvia Plath's son's suicide, Christine Stapleton—a blogger at PsychCentral and columnist for the Palm Beach Post—wrote something interesting that caught my attention addressing whether suicide can run in genes:
Suicide is not hereditary – at least geneticists have not proved it. However, studies have shown that children whose mothers committed suicide are 7 times more likely to attempt suicide than children whose mothers do not. That statistic is why I am alive.
Maybe that statistic would help keep me alive too if I have kids.
This is incredibly sad. This shows that suicidal struggles can be passed down in families. Food for thought.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Nicholas Hughes, the son of poet Sylvia Plath, has killed himself, 46 years after his mother committed suicide and almost 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, did the same. He was 47.
Hughes, who was not married and had no children, hanged himself at his home March 16, Alaska State Troopers said. An evolutionary biologist, he spent more than a decade on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Marmian Grimes, the university’s senior public information officer, said he left about a year ago.
Hughes’ older sister, poet Frieda Hughes, issued a statement through the Times of London, expressing her “profound sorrow” and saying that he “had been battling depression for some time.”
My heart goes out to the Hughes family.