I unfortunately know two people who committed suicide. One male was only 23 and was already successful and was doing great things with his life. He was popular, well liked by his peers and helped others in various situations. The other male was a father who took his life at the age of fifty-one due to financial circumstances. Both of these suicides left everyone in shock because no one noticed any signs that would lead to such drastic behavior in either of these individuals. It leaves everyone who is left behind wondering if there could there had been anything they could have done to help prevent this? Were there signs that we were just to naive to recognize? I do not think we will ever really have the true answers to those and many other questions such as what could have been so bad that one could not eventually work the problem out in due time? Those family and friends who are left behind may feel guilty for not recognizing warning signs of suicidal behavior; or may wish they had handled things differently. Another thing that family members struggle with is wondering why your relationship wasn’t “enough” to keep your loved one from dying by suicide. It is very hard to keep in mind that their struggle is not what defined your whole relationship that you had with them. As the pandemic slogged on, a suicide crisis gripped this country, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 48,183 people who died by suicide in 2021, according to findings published by the agency on Thursday. It comes after two consecutive years of declines and is an increase of 4.7% from the 45,979 deaths recorded in 2020, the CDC reports. It's also the highest number recorded since 2018, when 48,344 Americans died by suicide. It's also a 4% increase from the rate in 2020 of 13.5 per 100,000 — the largest seen in two decades. The total rate hit 14.1 per 100,000, slightly less than the 14.2 per 100,000 in 2018, and both males and females saw an increase of 4% in suicide rates from 2020 to 2021. Males were found to be more greatly affected, with rates increasing for those aged 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 65 to 74, and 75 and older. Perhaps most startlingly, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 34 in 2021. According to polling from KFF, four in 10 U.S. adults reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic, an increase from one in 10 adults who reported similar symptoms from January 2019 to June 2019. The impact on young adults was particularly severe. According to a 2021 study from Boston College, rates of depression and anxiety rose 61% and 65%, respectively, among those aged 18 to 29 during the first year of the pandemic. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free, confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.