Depression and Suicide Risk

Barbara was relieved when her son, John, told her he was going out to grab some pizza with the guys. John had been struggling with depression off and on for the past several years. His most recent episode had lasted about three months. Barbara had been worried about John. He had no motivation to do his school work and often called in sick to work. He had been spending more time in his room, and did not even want to talk on his phone with friends.

Six weeks ago, Barbara convinced John to see his family doctor about the depression. He was prescribed an antidepressant and encouraged to exercise daily. Yesterday, John surprised his mom by giving her flowers and thanking her for her support over the past several months. She was ecstatic when he told her he wanted to go out for the night with friends. Things were finally looking up.

Just as Barbara prepared for bed, there was a knock on the door. Opening it, she was confused – why was there a police officer at her door? 

“Oh no! No! No! No!”

Barbara’s son John had driven his car off a cliff killing himself.

Unfortunately, while the details may differ, the suicides do not. Individuals with depression are at greater risk for suicide attempts immediately following a depressive episode. When a person is depressed, he may ruminate on all the reasons and ways to die, but he has no energy to do anything. As the depression lifts, these self-deprecating thoughts often remain and now the person has the energy to put into action the plan he has been construing for some time.

Don’t think because the depression is starting to lift that the risk for suicide has passed. Continue to watch for warning signs and don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions --- Are you planning to hurt yourself? Have you thought about killing yourself? Have you thought about how you would do it? Do you have a plan?

If the answer is yes, seek help immediately. Call 911.  If you are suicidal, consider calling the crisis hotline number below.
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)




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Tears to Joy: Depression and Suicide Risk

Monday, September 7, 2015

Depression and Suicide Risk

Barbara was relieved when her son, John, told her he was going out to grab some pizza with the guys. John had been struggling with depression off and on for the past several years. His most recent episode had lasted about three months. Barbara had been worried about John. He had no motivation to do his school work and often called in sick to work. He had been spending more time in his room, and did not even want to talk on his phone with friends.

Six weeks ago, Barbara convinced John to see his family doctor about the depression. He was prescribed an antidepressant and encouraged to exercise daily. Yesterday, John surprised his mom by giving her flowers and thanking her for her support over the past several months. She was ecstatic when he told her he wanted to go out for the night with friends. Things were finally looking up.

Just as Barbara prepared for bed, there was a knock on the door. Opening it, she was confused – why was there a police officer at her door? 

“Oh no! No! No! No!”

Barbara’s son John had driven his car off a cliff killing himself.

Unfortunately, while the details may differ, the suicides do not. Individuals with depression are at greater risk for suicide attempts immediately following a depressive episode. When a person is depressed, he may ruminate on all the reasons and ways to die, but he has no energy to do anything. As the depression lifts, these self-deprecating thoughts often remain and now the person has the energy to put into action the plan he has been construing for some time.

Don’t think because the depression is starting to lift that the risk for suicide has passed. Continue to watch for warning signs and don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions --- Are you planning to hurt yourself? Have you thought about killing yourself? Have you thought about how you would do it? Do you have a plan?

If the answer is yes, seek help immediately. Call 911.  If you are suicidal, consider calling the crisis hotline number below.
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)




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1 Comments:

At September 21, 2015 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Doug said...

Sadly these type stories are way to common. As people we have to learn how to spot the "signs" so that we can better help hurting people. Thanks for all you do to enlighten us on what to look for!

 

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