Counseling from the comfort and privacy of your own home

SUICIDE and DEPRESSION

Depression is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening mood disorder that afflicts millions of Americans.  Depressed persons are more likely to develop chronic medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and depression is projected to be the leading cause of disability over the next 20 years.  Furthermore, suicide is a major cause of mortality.  Depression, especially with comorbid substance abuse, represents a significant risk factor for suicide.  Depression causes enormous pain and suffering to the afflicted and the emotional impact on survivors of a depressed person who has committed suicide is often devastating.  Many persons with depression do not seek treatment; among those who do, only a fraction receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines.  Approximately 30% of all patients with major depression attempt suicide, half of whom ultimately take their own lives.  More than 60% of persons who complete suicide are depressed at the times of their deaths.  7/100 men diagnosed with depression will complete suicide.  (1/100 women).

Persons with depression who exhibit the following symptoms are at heightened risk for suicide.

• Extreme hopelessness or desperation

 

• A lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities

• Intense anxiety/panic attacks

• Insomnia

• Talk of suicide or history of attempts

• Irritability, agitation or enraged behavior

• Isolation

 

A Suicide Crisis is a time limited event that signals an immediate danger of suicide.  A suicide crisis can be triggered by a particularly distressing event, such as a loss of a loved one or career failure, and involve an intense emotional state in addition to depression, such as desperation, rage, psychic pain or anxiety, guilt, hopelessness or an acute sense of abandonment.  Changes in behavior or speech can suggest that suicide is imminent; speech may be indirect, with statements such as “My family would be better off without me.”  Persons contemplating suicide may also talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away, exhibit action ranging from buying a gun or suddenly putting one’s affairs in order, or deterioration in social or occupational functioning, increasing use of alcohol, other self-destructive behavior, loss of control, or rage explosions.

 

Most people who are suicidal exhibit warning signs, whether or not they are in an acute suicide crisis.  These signs should be taken seriously and include signs of depression, unrelenting low mood, pessimism, hopelessness, desperation, anxiety, tension, withdrawal from friends or social activities, sleep problems, loss of interest in physical appearance, hobbies, work.

SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS

 

• Increased alcohol and/or other drug use

• Recent impulsiveness

• Talk about suicide or death and /or no reason to live

• Making a plan (giving away possessions, impulsive purchase of firearm…)

• Unexpected rage, anger or drastic behavior change

• Recent humiliation, failure, or severe loss  (ie: relationship)

• Unwillingness to connect with potential helpers.

 

GET HELP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

EMERGENCIES: By nature, online counseling is not designed to handle emergency and crisis counseling. If your crisis needs immediate attention, proceed to the nearest hospital or emergency room.