To understand if depression must lead to suicide, it is important to define these terms and the relationship between them.
Depression is the persistent feeling of worthlessness, sadness, pessimism and a general loss of interest in normal activities of daily living.
Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one’s life, or causing one’s own death.
Causes of Depression
The exact cause of depression is unknown but it can occur due to the following reasons such as,
- Genetic: research has shown that genes have a role to play in depression
- Abuse: individuals who suffer or has suffered any form of abuse are prone to depression
- Death of a loved one or loss of job
- Use of certain drugs: Drugs such as beta blockers, codeine, morphine can lead to depression.
Depression does not necessarily have to lead to suicide in-fact it should not progress to suicide if proper attention and prompt care is given to the individual experiencing depression. Even though depression is a leading cause of suicide, it is therefore important to identify a depressed individual promptly so immediate care can be given.
Signs of Depression
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Anger and irritability
- Isolation; he or she prefers to be alone rather than with people
- Loss of interest in previously exciting activities
- Lack of concentration
- Calling or writing people to say goodbye
- Saying words such as “everyone or life would be better without me”
- Sleep changes; insomnia or over sleeping
Ways of helping an individual going through depression
Depression is so subtle to the extent that the individual may not be aware he or she is becoming depressed and thus will not seek help, it is therefore necessary that friends and relations:
- Identify the early signs of depression
- Give them a listening ear
- Ensure they are not left alone for too long
- Be empathetic
- Encourage the individual to stay positive
- Organise or encourage the individual to seek help through counselling and visiting the doctor
Road to mental wellness
- Have a positive mind-set
- Make a decision to believe positive things about self
- Maintain healthy relationships
- Exercise regularly; exercise releases endorphins in the brain which elevates mood thus reducing depression
- Good nutrition
- Adequate rest
- Be optimistic
- Laugh with people
- Seek professional help when needed
Depression and suicide is real, but depression should not lead to suicide if prompt medical attention is provided. Take care of your mental health
- Live well
- Enjoy life
- Stay healthy
- Be optimistic
- Say no to depression and suicide.