Can Depression Lead to Suicidal Thoughts?

William Kellogg
May 16, 2019

The increasing rate of suicide attempts in the 21st century cannot be easily quantified. More than 45,000 people committed suicide in the United States in 2016, and that number keeps rising. But what comes to mind when the news of death pops up on the screen, was he/she depressed? Based on a study of up to 15% of people depressed eventually commit suicide.

Depression is a severe medical illness that negatively affects the way an individual thinks, feel and act. It causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It eventually leads to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and home. Symptoms vary from mild to severe. The mild cases generally include loss of sleep and appetite, trouble sleeping/too much sleep, while the severe cases are suicidal thoughts. Suicide is the deliberate act of taking once life due to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

A research conducted by Susan Hill and Anne Harriss took into account the case study of a 19-year-old engineering apprentice who became a necessary management occupational health referral due to posting on social media his thoughts about self-harm and suicide. He has had a history of low mood which dated back to the start of his apprenticeship (18months ago), he was experiencing deep, suicidal feelings, insomnia, and tearfulness; he was lonely and struggling with interpersonal relationships. A psychiatric diagnosed him with reactive depression but indicated that he was not currently suicidal. His manager had concerns that his mental ill-health could pose a risk to himself or his peers while he used dangerous tools and decided only to allocate him administrative duties. He was declared unfit to resume regular duties, but it was considered that keeping him in a current responsibility (work) would be suitable for his mental health. After some time, he was declared fit to work with the absence of depression, until two weeks later when the management found out he stopped taking his medications due to the side-effects of the drugs and this resulted in him having suicidal thoughts for half of each day that went by. The treatment recommendation was to follow a two-fold approach using psychotherapy and long-term medication. Taking also into consideration was the fact that he was being bullied in school, which led to depression from a very tender age.

Approximately 25% of young people self-harm at some point in their lives and self-harm may be indicative of serious problems such as dysfunctional family relationships, mental illness, bullying, substance misuse and sexual or physical abuse which in the long run leads to depression and subsequently suicidal thoughts.

Depression issues can be tackled by Staying in touch with the environment, facing your fears, be more active by taking up more exercises, alcohol aids depression, and therefore it must be avoided

 Eating of a healthy diet is also a way of getting rid of depression and most importantly communicate with therapists regularly.

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William Kellogg

William Kellogg is a veteran writer who's covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.

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