Learn the Warning Signs of Suicide and How to Prevent It

Photo credit by Francisco Moreno Every year, over 4,000 Canadians die from suicide. While suicide rates are declining, it still affects people of all ages and backgrounds. However, 75 percent of suicide victims are men and more than half involve people over the age of 45. And, in 2017 the BBC reported that teen suicide was on the rise among Canadian girls, increasing by 38 percent, while white male suicide rates decreased by 34 percent. With so many disparate groups at risk, can there be a way to prevent it? First, it’s necessary to take a look at what drives people to suicide. What Leads To Suicide? There are numerous causes of suicide, but some of the top risk factors include substance abuse and mental illnesses such as clinical depression. In fact, depression is found in 50 percent of all suicides. Learn more about the various form of depression, including seasonal affective disorders, which is a special case. Other contributing factors include isolation and loneliness. Research shows that married people have a lower rate of suicide than single, divorced, or widowed people. Breakups in serious relationships often precipitate suicide, too. Traumatic events can also bring on suicidal thoughts. Read more detail in “15 Common Causes of Suicide: Why Do People Kill Themselves.” Look Out For These Warning Signs While there are numerous causes and factors, the warning signs that someone is in danger of suicide are universal. They include: – Thinking or talking about death or suicide. This is a critical warning sign and should be taken seriously. If you see this behavior, get help immediately by calling 911...

Am I depressed?

Sometimes clients come into my office wanting a diagnosis of depression. They may feel that this diagnosis validates their low mood, which they then can take back to their significant others and to help give explanation for their experience. Although psychologists have guidelines to make such a diagnosis, I often hesitate before doing this, explaining to my clients my view on depression. For many people, depression can be placed on a continuum and most people move along this continuum throughout their life span—ranging from happy and content to major depression. Depending on your current life situation, the coping skills you learned throughout your life, traumatic life experiences in your childhood, and the amount of support you have in you life, you can move along this continuum in your lifetime, at times feeling happy or content and at other times feeling discouraged or depressed. What is depression? Following is a list of symptoms for depression. These symptoms can be a normal part of life. However, the more symptoms you have, the longer you are living with them, and the stronger they are, the more severe the depression: Sleeping too much or too little; Feeling hopeless or helpless; Difficulty concentrating; Major change in appetite; Irritability; Hard on self and/or increase in negative thinking; Suicidal thoughts (seek help immediately if this occurs) What should you do? How do you know when you should go on antidepressants? Are there alternatives? How do you know when you should seek therapy? Many of my clients who experienced some or many of the above symptoms were uncertain whether they should seek help, and thus, may have...

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