Know more about signs that depression may lead to suicide — and what you can do to prevent it.
Suicide is one cause of death that is 100 percent preventable. But each year, thousands of Americans take their own lives. If you or someone you love is feeling suicidal, don’t wait for dire circumstances, get to the nearest emergency room for immediate help.
With life comes tragedy and the deep emotional pain that goes with it can make you feel hopeless. The Centre for Suicide Prevention explains that there are multiple theories that seek to answer the question of why people commit suicide. However, there is no one answer.
People choose to end their lives for a number of reasons including suffering an ended relationship, loss of a close friend or family member, financial worries and depression, the latter of which may also be exacerbated by other co-occurring mental health concerns.
The correlation between substance use disorders and suicide is undeniable, with some psychologists estimating that up to 45 percent of untreated substance abusers attempt or commit suicide. Prior physical and sexual abuse, bullying, and extreme stress also contribute.
Read on for more information from Luscious Mind.
Signs of depression
Depression is by far the most prevalent mental illness in suicide cases. For that reason, it’s important for people to understand the warning signs. These include:
- Constant and unshakable sadness that include a feeling of hopelessness
- In children, depression may present as irritability and inability to concentrate
- Failure to receive pleasure from all or most activities
- Change in sleep patterns – a depressed person may sleep too much or not enough
- Visible changes in weight
- Altered eating patterns – overeating or not eating it all
- Constant fatigue or lethargy
- Inability to concentrate
- A depressed individual may be unable to make mundane/routine decisions
- Obsession with death/morbid topics
It is important to note that depression is a serious condition that must be diagnosed by a mental health professional. The Mayo Clinic notes that a diagnosis may be made after a physical and psychiatric evaluation. However, the above can give you an idea as to the mental state of yourself, friend, or family member. If one or more of these conditions is present, seek help.
Keep in mind that seniors may have an increased risk of depression, especially if they live alone. Be sure to routinely check in with them and, if you can, keep them active and social by getting them involved in activities, such as learning a new hobby, volunteering, and exercising.
Depression is a mental illness that is often triggered by outside factors, such as stress. It may not be possible to prevent stressful situations, as many are unavoidable. But there are ways to change your lifestyle to help you better cope with circumstances beyond your control.
Dr. Matthew J. Edlund explains that something as simple as exposing yourself to natural sunlight can increase your overall positivity. When sunlight isn’t an option, a therapeutic lightbox can help.
Exercise is also valuable in the fight against mental health disorders. Exercise releases hormones that have a significant and positive impact on the brain. Depression can also be thwarted in part by having access to a social network. It is interesting to note that up to 25 percent of adults claim they have no connections outside of their family.
Stress, anxiety, and irritability, which all lead to depression, may also be mitigated through self-care techniques. This may include focusing on creating a better work-life balance, reading, taking a walk, wearing your favorite clothing, getting a massage, and visiting your doctor for routine health examinations that can identify and prevent health problems down the road.
Many people also look to all-natural supplements to help them cope with depression. In addition to fish oil, which has shown to help with a number of different mood disorders, people also turn to CBD oil, which can alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety as well. And although the oil is derived from the cannabis plant, it doesn’t contain THC, which is the chemical that produces a feeling of being “high.” However, given the number of products on the market and different ways you take them, it’s important to talk to your doctor and to read up on the different products before settling on one.
Reach out for help
Suicide is an equal-opportunity killer. It affects people of all ages and races and incomes and socioeconomic backgrounds. The only constant is that it is preventable. Pain is temporary but death is forever. If you notice any of these patterns in yourself or someone you know, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are respectfully that of the contributing author’s and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Luscious Mind and the site’s owner.