Preventing Suicide through Treatment of Depression

Screenshot 2016-06-25 at 6.44.09 PMInasmuch as data shows that most people suffering from depression never kill themselves, when left untreated, depression can enhance chances of possible suicide. Depressed individuals can harbor suicidal thoughts whether or not they intend to turn these thoughts into action. When severely depressed, people lack sufficient energy to harm themselves, but when their depression lifts, chances of them attempting suicide are high because of the regained energy.

The good news is that depression and its related symptoms can respond to proper treatment and where early intervention is sought, the depressive illness can be nipped in the bud. Any concerns of suicidal risk should be taken seriously and a qualified professional should be notified to help evaluate the condition.

Statistics on Depression and Suicide

It is estimated that close to 15% of clinically depressed people commit suicide.

In 1997, suicide was recognized as the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. Slightly over 30,500 people died through suicide in that year alone.

In 1996, the number of suicide attempts was estimated at 500,000.

Research also reveals that for every 8 to 25 attempted suicides, there is one completion. The ratio of attempted suicide is higher in youth and women while lower in men and the elderly.

In light of the above grave statistics, treatment should be prioritized in depressed individuals as a way to curb both attempted and successful suicides. The point at which you should seek treatment for depression is when you notice that your depression case is preventing you from living the life you desire.

Exploring Depression Treatment Options

Unlike other medical conditions, depression doesn’t affect two people in the exact same way. What this means is that treatment needs to be customized because there is no one-size-fits-all. The medical practitioner first of all examines you to learn as much as he possibly can about your depression case and whether your symptoms are rooted in an underlying medical condition. Where this is the case, the underlying condition is prioritized in treatment. The severity of your depression is also an important factor and the more severe the condition is, the more intensive the treatment ought to be.

Finding the right treatment may take quite some time with instances of trial and error. Treatment is most often than not a multipronged approach which doesn’t just rely on medication, but also other treatments such as exercise and therapy. Among the other non-medical treatments for depression include:

Social Support – This is not necessarily a treatment, but cultivating positive social connections can protect you from sliding into depression. Family members and friends are the first line of defense in this.

Good Nutrition Eating well is critical not only to your physical, but also mental health. Having a balanced diet can boost your energy and minimize mood swings. Sugar crashes can drain and push you towards depression.

Stress Reduction Excessive amounts of stress can exacerbate depression and increase your risk for future depression. To stop this, initiate changes in your life that help you to identify, manage, and reduce stress.

Therapy for Depression Treatment

Where the underlying cause for your depression symptoms is not medical, you need to find a mental health specialist for further examination. There are various types of therapy you can undergo depending on the areas being addressed. There is psychotherapy which is an effective treatment that gives you skill and insight on how to identify and prevent depression in future. There is also cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy. For the best results, medical practitioners combine one or two approaches in addressing depression conditions.

Remember it is possible to pull through depression and live a normal life again.

Understanding the Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Suicide

 In Crisis?

Suicide can best be defined as a condition which occurs when the stressors exceed the ability of your system to cope. Mostly, suicide is closely associated with mental health conditions key among them depression. Conditions such as substance abuse problems, anxiety, and depression when left unaddressed for a lengthy period of time can increase the risk of suicide. It is also to be appreciated that people who manage their mental health conditions actively can lead good and fulfilling lives.

The Prevalence of Suicide

In 2009, suicide was found to be the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. In that year alone, there were close to 37,000 suicide cases as well as 1 million suicide attempts. This is according to statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control. Men account for about 79% of all suicide cases in the United States which is 4 times the rate of women.

The Risk Factors for Suicide

Suicidal behavior is precipitated by a number of factors which tend to vary with ethnic group, gender, and age. Most of these risk factors occur in combinations and hardly can you find one in isolation. Alcohol and substance abuse, depression, as well as trauma are some of the leading factors that have been contributing heavily to suicidal behaviors and thoughts. The following is a categorization of the risk factors and warning signs for suicide.

Behavioral Factors

In this category, the affected people tend to exude the following behaviors:

Isolation from family and friends

Enhanced usage of alcohol and other drugs

Suicidal tendencies such as deliberate searches online for means and materials to assist in committing suicide

Withdrawal from the normal day to day activities

Too much sleeping or sleeping for very few hours

Calling people at random or even visiting them to bid them goodbye


Health Factors

These factors have to do with the wellness of the body and mind. Among the risk factors to watch out for in this category include:

Mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, antisocial personality disorders, and psychotic disorders

Disorders due to substance abuse

Chronic or serious health conditions

Environmental Factors

These are factors that originate from around us such as the people we interact with or the environment we operate in. The most common environmental risk factors include:

Stressful life events some of which may include divorce, death, or job loss

Prolonged stress factors such as harassment, relation problems, unemployment, and bullying

Access to dangerous and lethal means such as drugs and firearms

Exposure to sensationalized or graphic accounts of suicide of other people

In addition to the above risk factors, people who constantly talk of being a burden to other people or feeling trapped and experiencing unbearable pain may have a tendency towards killing themselves. Whenever a person starts displaying signs of suicide, you should pay close attention to them and even ask them of their plans, but do not argue with them or interrupt their suicidal thoughts. Let them know that you understand and care for them and you are there to listen and encourage them.

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