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July 11th, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Do Baby Boomers Have a Death Wish?

From CNN Intern Sachin Seth:

Rather than burden their children with the daunting task of caring for them as they age, some baby boomers may be considering an extreme form of "relief." Suicide.

Psychiatrist Mark Goulston says he's been approached by some middle-aged patients who say they'd rather "take a bottle of pills" than inconvenience their children.

Dr. Goulston blames the problem on the impatient nature of "millennials" - the offspring of baby boomers - a trait he says was passed down from the boomers themselves.

Adding to their angst is their own experience of taking care of elderly parents, which sometimes leads to feelings of resentment. Baby boomers don't want their own children to grow to resent and begrudge them when they get old and feeble.

Dr. Goulston joined Don Lemon in the CNN Newsroom Saturday to talk about the issue.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Don Lemon
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Alex

    We hardly need Dr. Goulston to tell us what we already know. In the time of the Pre baby boomer and into the 'next in' boomer generations we were hard workers with interests in keeping the family secure and happy at all costs. Thus we were patient and understanding to the point of complete fulfillment of our offspring(s) happiness which neglected the discipline and loyalty concepts with the added cake icing of instant gratification. Thus mostly physically and mentally fat kids with little tolerance and consideration for those that gave. Perhaps narcissistic in several ways. Therein lies the observation by the elder that this was the wrong thing, a failing family social system. Yes, for those with no backbone the pill is the easier way out. If we look around the world we will see that the foreign families are a lot tougher than the Good Old Middle American Family. Look at our government, it can't govern. An exact larger example of the typical American family unit. How about Baby Boomers Anonymous organizations, as in a 'Day at a Time.'

    July 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Jeryl

    Suicide is the ultimate form of pride. As an Evangelical Christian, I don't believe I have a right to take my own life. God expects us to care for our elderly parents as they cared for us in our childhood and adolescence. There is a great joy in doing so.

    July 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Southgate Jo

    Life can be an unforgiving place. You raised your children in a manner that never allowed them to grow up or understand what the word NO ment. Now you have to care for them. Your parents are sick and can't take care of themselves, so you take a pill and end it all? Man up America ...I may take a pill just thinking of how pitiful a situation you have created for yourselves.

    Life is precious! That is why your parents are trying to hang on till the bitter end. These people need to learn the word no and then go out and find a life for themselves. This isn't complicated ...Good lord ....

    July 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  4. Angie

    And if it becomes legal to commit suicide, What makes these white Republican conservatives believe that their God will forgive them? Do White conservative Republicans really think that they are above the God's laws.

    July 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  5. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I am a "Baby Boomer" but don't believe in suicide as a solution. I also don't want to be a burden on my children. I have filled out a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney and had it notarized. I do not want to be kept alive by machines and spend months or years in a nursing home with no hope of recovery. I worked many years for what I do have and would prefer to die a natural death at an old age. What I don't want is for a hospital or nursing home to keep me alive with machines and suck up all of my assets when there would be no chance of recovery. I have seen this happen to too many families. So my spouse and children know that I want the plug pulled if that time should come. I also wanted them to know that that is my wish and should feel no guilt. I want them to pull the plug out of love for me.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  6. Dianna

    I am not commenting on the suicide part of this issue, but the issue is more than what is mentioned about just being impatient. It is hard for alot of people to want to stay alive with all the financial costs that go along with staying alive and that is a concern regardless of what the age bracket, race or gender is.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  7. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Im a baby boomer and my death wish is to die with dignity that's why im all for Dr. Death I in no way want to die suffering like my father .

    July 12, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  8. marlo

    There are definately other alternatives then ending ones life!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:23 am |
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