Depression and Suicide

Evelyn was eighteen years old and seemed to have the world at her fingertips. She had a supportive family, great friends and a loving boyfriend. However, when she began to withdraw completely from her life it was obvious that there was a problem. She was diagnosed with severe depression.

Her previously optimistic and light personality had been quickly replaced by a melancholy that seemed to engulf Evelyn. She could think of nothing more than suicide during most of her waking hours.

After an extensive period of therapy, individual and group, Evelyn began to recover from the effects of the depression that engulfed her life. Finally, she was able to honestly state that her thoughts of suicide were gone and her life began to return to normal.

Now, several years later she has graduated from college and is on a fantastic career path.

Suicide is intentionally ending your own life.  Severe depression is often blamed, and without intervention and medical help the suicidal patient will almost always attempt suicide at least once.

Most depressed people never actually commit suicide, but there is still an increased risk of suicide any time there is a diagnosis of a patient with moderate to severe depression. Studies have shown that only around 2% of all people receiving outpatient treatment for depression might actually die because of suicide. Around seven percent of the men diagnosed with depression will commit suicide, while the percentage of women is much lower at one percent.

People who commit suicide almost always have some type of mental illness, but generally younger patients suffering from clinical depression will become drug addicts and kill themselves via overdose.

Guns are the common way to commit suicide, ranking first at about sixty percent.  Approximately eighty percent of the white men who commit suicide do so with firearms. If someone seems at risk of committing suicide it is advised that all guns and ammunition be removed from their home.

Suicide by hanging ranks second among men who commit suicide, while the second most common method among women is poison ingestion.

Depression is not the only indication that a person is at risk of committing suicide. Other clues may include:

1. Impulsive Behavior.

Those suffering from mental illnesses that cause them to act on impulse are more at risk of committing suicide because they simply do things on a whim.

2. Experiencing Serious Traumatic Event

People who experience the death of a family member or spouse, experience major financial difficulties or suffer some other adversity may be more at risk for suicide than others.

3. History of suicide in the family.

"Suicide contagion" is a term describing the reason that people who have been frequently exposed to suicide or suicide attempts throughout their life.  This can also lead to an increased risk of suicide in the affected person.

4. Family History of Abuse

Physical of sexual abuse may contribute to suicide.

5. Prior Suicide Attempts

Someone who has attempted suicide is always at risk for repeating their suicide attempt, and possibly leading to a success.

6. Alcohol and drug use

Alcoholics and drug addicts are more at risk for suicide attempts than others without addiction problems.

If a person has suicidal tendencies, it is best that he or she get immediate professional treatment. Depression is a problem that has to be treated in order to eliminate suicidal thoughts. It is important to realize that suicidal people to not usually realize that they need mental help.

When a patient is suicidal, it is important to develop a successful suicide prevention program immediately. Preventing suicide is not easy. Suicide prevention programs must include treatment of the underlying depression or substance abuse that is determined to be the root cause of the suicidal tendencies.
Before a depression or suicide prevention method can be used, it is important that it undergo testing to prove the effectiveness and safety of the methods being implemented.  Treatment must be extensive, and it must be long-duration. Success is achieved only through the elimination of suicidal tendencies within the patient.  Treatments must be accessed for their usefulness in patients of varying demographics including age, gender, race, etc.

Depression and suicide are related. Successful depression treatment methods will also eliminate suicidal tendencies within patients who are at risk of committing suicide.



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