Depressed? Thinking life isn't worth living? Help is available; just ask

Although the majority of people who have depression do not die by suicide, having major depression does increase suicide risk compared to people without depression. The risk of death by suicide may, in part, be related to the severity of the depression.

Recent data on depression that has followed people over long periods of time suggests that almost 2 percent of those people ever treated for depression in an outpatient setting will die by suicide.

Among those ever treated for depression in an inpatient hospital setting, the rate of death by suicide is twice as high. Those treated for depression as inpatients following suicide ideation or suicide attempts are about three times as likely to die by suicide as those who were only treated as outpatients, whereas about 7 percent of men with a lifetime history of depression will die by suicide. One percent of women with a lifetime history of depression will die by suicide.

Another way of thinking about suicide risk and depression is to examine the lives of people who have died by suicide and see what proportion of them were depressed. From that perspective, it is estimated that about 60 percent of people who committed suicide have had a mood disorder (e.g., major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia).

If you, or someone you know is depressed and is seriously considering suicide, stop and call 911 immediately. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with depression and is experiencing suicide ideation or thinking that there is no other way but to commit suicide, find the help you need.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-273-8255 and SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Both are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with trained professionals who have the resources available to get you the help that you need.

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