For most people, when we feel sad we eat a bit of chocolate, watch a favorite movie or get together with friends and family. Unfortunately, serious depression cannot be cured by taking a vacation or having a laugh. It is something that affects your entire life and can be very difficult to overcome. In some cases, it can lead to an inability to function in day-to-day life, problems maintaining relationships, a breakdown or even suicide.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In the most recent data collection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41,149 people died due to suicide, meaning that one American dies every 12.8 seconds from suicide.
A recent study has identified behavior patterns that can be seen as suicide symptoms for people with depression. The research involved 2,811 people with depression (of those, 628 had previously attempted suicide). Each individual was evaluated using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) based on family history, previous suicide attempts, psychiatric symptoms, current and previous treatments, clinical presentations and risk factors for bipolar disorder. They were looking specifically at the behaviors and characteristics of those who had attempted suicide compared to those who had not.
The researchers found that the rates for suicide are four times higher for men. They also found that the risk for suicide is 50 percent higher for those who display the following symptoms while suffering depression:
The study shows that healthcare professionals who pay close attention to these symptoms could have a greater chance at preventing future suicides. The study’s author, Dr. Dina Popovic, a psychiatrist at Barcelona Hospital Clinic and the Clinical Research Institute of Biomedical Research in Spain, says, “In our opinion, assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications. Most of these symptoms will not be spontaneously referred by the patient, the clinician needs to inquire directly, and many clinicians may not be aware of the importance of looking at these symptoms before deciding to treat depressed patients.”
According to the CDC, there are many factors playing a role in the rate of suicide, including age (with those 45 to 64 at the highest risk), gender, race/ethnicity, geographical location and economic factors. To learn more about suicide prevention, you must understand the risk factors and warning signs.
There is generally not one single factor involved, but a combination of many. In addition to risk factors, it is important to understand the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior. They include:
Depression is strongly linked to suicide and accounts for 90 percent of all deaths by suicide; therefore, it is also important to understand the symptoms of depression and be able to identify the signs.
Everyone feels sad sometimes; it’s just a part of life. However, if you feel constant sadness without relief, you may be suffering from depression. Depression can be caused by a number of biological, psychological, and social factors, including stress, a family history of depression, relationship problems, substance abuse, health problems, loneliness, childhood abuse or trauma and financial strain.
Depression can display differently in each individual, so understanding common signs and symptoms can increase prevention for yourself and also help you notice the issues in your friends and family. If any of the following signs and symptoms become overwhelming, debilitating or do not decrease or disappear over time, a medical professional should be consulted to discuss treatment.
If you or anyone you know is displaying signs or symptoms of depression, seek help immediately to prevent suicidal tendency, thoughts and actions.
It can be awkward and difficult to bring up topics such as depression and suicide, but often just opening up the conversation for discussion can save a life. Most people suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts do not want to hurt themselves, they just want the pain and suffering to end and are not able to come up with another solution. To help prevent suicide, understanding the signs and symptoms of depression is the first step, especially because many people will not ask for help. The next step is to recognize the warning signs of suicide and take them seriously. Here are three tips to help you prevent suicide and act accordingly:
If you are feeling depressed, or know someone who is, there are also natural treatments that can help combat depression. Please speak with your doctor to help determine which treatment is best for you.
Depression and suicide are very serious issues and should not be ignored. If you notice the symptoms of depression or signs of suicide, reach out and offer your support. If you are feeling depressed yourself, talk to someone you trust. There are ways to prevent and treat suicidal tendencies and natural treatments for depression. If issues persist or worsen, make sure to contact a healthcare professional to get the help you need. And remember, the first step toward suicide prevention is communication; don’t be afraid to speak up.
Life is the greatest gift of all, and to preserve that gift researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) conducted a study to determine whether science could help predict suicide risk. Continue reading…
National statistics indicate depression is a condition that affects one in 10 Americans, but is that really accurate? Many mental health specialists said they believe the numbers are off. They tell us that some people are too embarrassed to admit… Continue reading…