Facts about Suicide & Depression

Check out this handout from the American Association of Suicidology.

What is Depression?
Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder. The lifetime risk for depression is 6 to 25%. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 9.5% or 20.9 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness in any given year.

There are two types of depression. In major depression, the symptoms listed below interfere with one’s ability to function in all areas of life (work, family, sleep, etc.). In dysthymia, the symptoms are not as severe but still impeded one’s ability to function at normal levels.

Common symptoms of depression, reoccurring almost every day: 

Depressed mood (e.g. feeling sad or empty) 

Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities 

Significant weight loss or gain, or decrease or increase in appetite

Insomnia or hypersomnia 

Agitation, restlessness, irritability 

Fatigue or loss of energy Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt Inability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness 

Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or plan for completing suicide

A family history of depression (i.e., a parent) increases the chances (by 11 times) than a child will also have depression

The treatment of depression is effective 60-80% of the time. However, according to the World Health Organization, less than 25% of individuals with depression receive adequate treatment.

If left untreated, depression can lead to co-morbid (occurring at the same time) mental disorders such as alcohol and substance abuse, higher rates of recurrent episodes and higher rates of suicide.

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