Suicide and Depression

Sometimes, I find it frustrating that other people see suicide and depression one-dimensionally. Usually, these people are quick to judge others and have never personally experienced depression before.

Depression and consequently, suicide, are caused by a lot of interacting factors. You can never, ever pinpoint a single factor as the cause (you can identify the major ones though) . Personality, attitude (how one perceives the problem and magnitude of the problem), coping mechanisms, previous experiences, family and social support, culture, religion or philosophy in life, genetics and neurobiological make-up of the person are just some of the factors that can cause depression and can cause a person to kill himself or herself.

“Dramas” or “shout outs” about suicide and suicidal ideations (thinking about committing suicide or talking about how one wants to die) should be considered seriously. These signs together with other symptoms (e.g. moderate alcohol abuse, insomnia, anhedonia or loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy) are warning signals that a person NEEDS help.

However, one shouldn’t be very confident when a suicidal person begins to show signs of recovery, e.g. improvement in mood (being more cheerful). Often, and contrary to popular belief, persons who successfully commit suicide DO NOT TELL their psychiatrist, family or friends of their plan to kill themselves. “Dramas” or “shout outs” should be considered as an OPPORTUNITY TO INTERVENE whether or not you are a family member, friend, colleague, or a health professional. To be a concerned citizen is enoughThe earlier you recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide, the better your chances of helping and saving the lives of other people.

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