Depression and suicide

Depression is a life threatening mental disorder that is characterized by loss pleasures of life, low self esteem and bad moods. In the Eastern world, reports carried out in ten countries indicate that more that twenty seven suicides in one hundred thousand people had experienced depression. In the United Sates 3.4% of people with major depression commit suicide whereby 60% of people who have committed suicide had forms of mood disorders or depression. It accounts for thirty two thousand deaths yearly (Angst, Angst & Stassen 1999)

Depression affects 17.6 million Americans each year. Worldwide depression affects millions of young people each year which damaged the physical and emotional health of a people. Several factors have been considered as the root cause of depression which range from social, psychological and biological factors. Biological and genetic theories have indicated that depression is caused by the already existing vulnerability which is activated by life events which are stressful.

A Swedish study has indicated that depression passes through heritable genes. This is through factors responsible for natural selection and adaptation as well as drug and substance abuse. Other risk factors that have lead to suicide are divorce, family separation, suicidal behaviors in the family or peers and celebrities, incarceration and presence of firearm in the home. Recent studies have also shown that children have incidences of commenting suicide due to molestation, bullying, sexual abuse and imitation of fictional characters they see on the media.

It is hard to notice somebody with depression for it occurs in various forms. A person may not even be aware that he/she is suffering from the mental disorder. Two thirds of people with depression are not aware that they have a treatable disease and therefore end up not seeking


any treatment (Busch, 2010).

In 2005, 1.4% of deaths in the world were attributed to suicide, which is currently seen as the leading cause of death of people of all ages. Most of the people who have committed suicide have been diagnosed with depression and substance abuse. These drugs are abused because the person wants to get rid of depressive symptoms. Two thirds of people who have committed suicide had visited a physician a month before their death.

The highest rate of suicide has been recorded in Hungary. About twenty percent of its population suffers from illness of anxiety coupled with depression. Hungary leads in the world’s statistics of people suffering from liver sclerosis with eight thousand five hundred cases reported every year due to excessive alcoholism. According to most people in this county, suicide is seen as a way of escaping life challenges that cause depression. Suicidal risks therefore are increased due to alcohol and drug abuse, feeling of hopelessness, lack access to psychiatric treatment, pessimism, impassibility and reduced family and social support (Medicine web 2010).

In America suicide rates among the Alaskan and Indian natives aged between fifteen to thirty four years have twice the national average of people within the same age range. It is mainly common among the female than their male counterparts. .But among the older generation of seventy five years of age and above, men have recorded a higher suicide rate than the female. Nevertheless, suicide still remains as the third leading cause among the youth aged fifteen to twenty four years.



Diagnosis of depression has always been difficult since it manifests itself in various ways. Symptoms range from withdrawal, abnormal eating and sleeping patterns to both extremes, loss of pleasure, anxiety, empty moods, crying, fatigues and loss of memory and concentration. Attempted suicide and suicide are not to be seen as a way of seeking attention but shows the underlying expression of extreme distress.


Busch S, Frank G, Leslie L, Martin A, Rosenheck A, Martin G, et al.

(2010) Antidepressants and suicide risk: how did specific information in FDA

safety warnings affect treatment patterns? Psychiatr Serv.

Angst J, Angst F, Stassen H (1999) suicide risk in patients with major depressive

disorder. J Clin Psychiatry.

Medicine web (2010) depression and suicide. Retrieved from


On 27th February, 2010