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Is Depression a Risk Factor for Suicide?

A unhappy beautiful girl having bad trouble and getting depression illness sitting on wooden floor daydreaming in white background.

Ongoing sadness, lack of enthusiasm, and disinterest in your day-to-day activities are signs of depression. The mood disorder can vary from mild to severe and lead to negative thoughts, actions, or feelings that impair your life. But is depression a risk factor for suicide?

While depression can be a risk factor for suicide, not everyone who experiences depression attempts suicide. The good news is depression is one of the most treatable mental health disorders. About 85% of people with depression find successful treatment through lifestyle changes, medications, or therapy. 

Facts About Suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It’s a top cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. Its prevalence increased significantly in the last two decades but began declining in 2020.

Though suicide rates dropped in 2020 for the second consecutive year, it is still a leading cause of death. Amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s overall suicide rate dropped by 3% in 2020. While suicide rates decreased for white men and women, they increased for people of color. Nationwide, the suicide rate is four times higher for males than females, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. 

There is no one cause for suicide, but numerous factors – individual, relationship, community, or societal – can lead to death by suicide. A family history of suicide or prior suicide attempt increase the likelihood. 

Factors that can lead to suicide include: 

  • Adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect
  • Bullying
  • Cultural or religious beliefs that suicide is a noble resolution to a problem 
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Mental illness, such as depression
  • Problems with employment, finances, or the law
  • Relationship problems
  • Serious illness
  • Sexual violence
  • Social isolation
  • Substance use disorder

Suicide can have a significant impact on people, families, and communities.

Is Depression a Risk Factor for Suicide?

Depression is one risk factor for suicide but not a singular predictor of suicide. Though depression is strongly related to suicidal ideation and attempt, having depression does not mean a person will attempt suicide. 

Most people treated for depression do not attempt suicide. But the risk is more significant for people with severe depression. About 60% of people who complete suicide have major depression. Substance use disorders or psychosis are other psychiatric conditions seen in those who die by suicide.

People who plan how they would cause their death by suicide, known as suicidal ideation, are the most likely to follow through. 

Suicide Warning Signs

If you feel helpless, stressed, and isolated, you are more likely to attempt suicide. If you or your loved one exhibits any of the warning signs below, you may be at risk for suicide.

Examples of suicide warning signs:

  • Depression that affects your ability to function 
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Family history of suicide
  • Giving away cherished belongings
  • High-risk behaviors, including substance use
  • Humiliation and shame
  • Obsession with death
  • Personality changes
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Self-harm 
  • Sleeping excessively or too little
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Threats of suicide or statements indicating you wish you were never born

sadness depressed woman having psychology problem sitting on sofa crying and her doctor adviser looking at her trying to comfort.

How Integrative Life Center Can Help

If you’re ready to manage or overcome depression, the caring specialists at Integrative Life Center can help. From the most rigorously tested and well-known psychotherapy types to holistic approaches, Integrative Life Center has the right path for you. 

Treatments for depression include:

  • Medication. Our mental health professionals can help you determine if antidepressants may be an effective way to treat your depressive disorder. Medication is not a one-size-fits-all answer, so our team will stay in communication with you to discuss effectiveness and side effects. 
  • Psychotherapy. Our team uses numerous types of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, to help you overcome depressive disorders. Two of the most popular are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Therapy
  • Hospital or Residential Therapy. For some people, healing and progress are most likely to occur when caring, knowledgeable professionals can provide 24/7 care and guidance. Integrative Life Center’s trained staff offers a Residential Therapy program for people dealing with mental health issues, including severe depression.

Suicide Treatment Program

If you have thoughts or feelings of suicide, let Integrative Life Center help you with its Suicide Treatment Program. We provide every individual with customized care and employ talk, equine, trauma-focused, and music therapies. We help people with suicidal ideation and co-occurring disorders. 

Contact Integrative Life Center today to learn more about options to treat depression. Our team of dedicated professionals will identify the treatment plan best suits you and walk alongside you with a heart-centered approach.

Cdc.gov. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/VSRR016.pdf.

Has the Rate of Suicide in the United States Risen?. Verywell Mind. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/suicide-rates-overstated-in-people-with-depression-2330503.

Suicide Prevention. Cdc.gov. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/.

What Is Depression?. Psychiatry.org. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression.

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