Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide annually, according to the World Health Organization. People who can identify the signs of suicide, however, are better equipped than others to stop suicide before it happens.
To better understand the signs of suicide, let’s take a look at suicide, its risk factors and how to help loved ones dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
What Is Suicide?
Suicide occurs when a person attempts to take his or her own life. It is one of the top 10 the leading cause of death in the United States, the National Institute on Mental Health reports, and affects individuals of all ages, genders and ethnicities.
The risk factors associated with suicide include:
- Previous suicide attempt
- Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
- Medical illness
- Family violence
- Family history of suicide
Additionally, those who are dealing with depression may be more prone than others to suicidal thoughts.
What Is the Link Between Depression and Suicide?
Depression affects how a person feels, thinks and acts. It often makes it tough to perform everyday activities and is associated with feelings of sadness.
Common depression symptoms include:
- Social isolation
- Difficulty concentrating
There are many reasons why depression occurs, including:
- Hormones: Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause or other conditions may trigger depression symptoms.
- Brain Chemistry: Neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that help manage a person’s mood, play key roles in depression. In fact, research indicates changes to neurotransmitters may lead to depression.
- Genetics: An individual may be more susceptible to depression if a blood relative has experienced the condition.
Depression is sometimes overwhelming, and it may increase a person’s susceptibility to suicidal thoughts. Also, people who are struggling with depression may be susceptible to various signs of suicide, such as:
- Feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Isolation from family members, friends and other loved ones
- Withdrawal from past activities that an individual previously enjoyed
- Emotional outbursts or mood swings
- Loss of energy or appetite
- Weight gain or loss
- Chronic pain or illness
Depression may seem impossible to combat at times, but the condition is treatable. If a person experiences feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts, it is crucial to seek professional medical help immediately. Then, this individual can take the first step to address his or her depression symptoms.
Conversely, suicide warning signs are sometimes difficult to detect. As such, it is important to pay close attention to a person’s actions, behaviors and demeanor. If a person displays any of the aforementioned signs of suicide, it is paramount to offer meaningful support right away.
What Is the Best Depression Treatment?
If you believe someone you know is dealing with depression, don’t wait to help him or her. Remember, there are lots of ways you can provide meaningful support to a person struggling with depression, including:
- Ask tough questions. Be direct and ask a person if he or she is experiencing suicidal thoughts; this enables you to open the lines of communication.
- Become an active listener. Listen closely and respond appropriately – without making judgments.
- Act as a support. Make yourself available; that way, an individual dealing with depression can rely on you as a support.
- Follow up. Stay in touch and provide consistent support.
Depression resources are also available from a variety of sources, including:
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: This nonprofit organization offers resources to support the prevention, treatment and cure of depression and other mental health disorders.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: This organization provides educational resources, as well as free 24/7 support to individuals dealing with depression.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This suicide prevention network provides free, confidential support to people dealing with depression, along with distress and crisis resources.
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all depression treatment, either. Some of the most common depression treatments include:
- Lifestyle Changes: A combination of regular exercise, a healthy diet and strong social networks sometimes helps people manage their depression symptoms.
- Psychotherapy: With psychotherapy, an individual can learn practical techniques that he or she can use to reframe negative thinking, and in doing so, combat depression.
- Individual or Group Therapy: Individual or group therapy programs allow individuals to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions with a counselor or peers.
- Medications: Antidepressants may be prescribed to treat depression symptoms.
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is quickly becoming a top choice to treat depression, too.
What Is dTMS?
dTMS leverages magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to help treat depression symptoms. Plus, dTMS offers a number of benefits in comparison to other depression treatments, including:
- Few Side Effects: dTMS does not cause nausea, dry mouth and other unwanted side effects commonly associated with depression medications.
- Non-Invasive: dTMS does not require any anesthesia or electric shocks.
- Fast Treatment: A typical dTMS session requires only about 20 minutes to complete.
- Minimal Downtime: Most dTMS patients can drive home or back to work immediately following a treatment session.
Achieve TMS is a trusted provider of dTMS for depression, and to date, we have delivered more than 30,000 dTMS treatments with a 49% remission rate and 70% response rate. To learn more about our dTMS treatments, please contact us today at 855-405-2055.