Understanding and Overcoming Depression
The True Link Between Suicide and Depression
It is a well established fact in the medical and psychotherapeutic communities that suicide and depression are considered the dark duo of death. According to published statistics, more than two thirds of suicides are committed by those who are suffering from depression and ninety percent from some kind of mental disorder. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that true depressives are so much more likely to take their own lives than others is because depressive episodes are so often filled with thoughts of suicide and death. Since the driver of true depression, as apposed to a mood disorder, is a "death wish" it should not be surprising that thoughts of death would pervade the thinking of such a person. Thus, a depressive's thoughts are all too often in this realm which makes the actual act seem much more likely and acceptable even if perverse by normal standards.
It appears from the statistics that those who are most vulnerable include young people ages 10-24, middle aged adults, seniors 65 and older and veterans suffering from PTSD. The reasons why this occurs are not too difficult to imagine since these periods of one’s life tend in general to be the most stressful since they typically represent times of change. Children going through puberty and entering adulthood, men and women having their “midlife crisis,” experienced as declining virility and vigor in men and lose of attractiveness and sex appeal in some women, declining health and well being in older adults and service personnel going through emotional hell from their war experiences add fuel to the fire especially when ones mental state is a bit challenged to begin with.
So depression combined with particularly stressful periods in our lives could bring those who are most vulnerable to attempt and at times succeed at taking their own lives. So this part at least is clear, but what may be less so is the precise explanation of why those suffering from depression commit suicide at a significantly higher rate than others. Most people would not wonder why there is a connection between the two, believing that people who are unhappy and feel blue and sad would likely be more apt to kill themselves during a crisis than those who do not suffer very often from down moods. But the connection is just not that simple. If you are reading this then chances are you are either someone who suffers from depression or know people who are close to you who do. If you unfortunately suffer then you know there is a lot more to it than that, and if you don’t, just ask someone who does suffer to explain what torment takes place during a depressive episode.
Since depression is caused by an unfulfilled death wish that is carried in the subconscious mind of the sufferer, whenever a true depressive undergoes an episode she or he feels like living is a very painful thing to endure. In other words it feels like a demon inside your psyche wants you dead and does everything to keep you from escaping the circumstance (depressive episode) in which you find yourself. It’s trying to kill you and you and your life force are trying to keep you alive. What it does, or at least tries to do, is diminish your will to live by making everything in your life appear bleak. This demon is very cleaver and knows that the less you have to live for the easier it is to move you towards ending it all and relieving yourself of having to exist in this miserable state in which you find yourself. After enduring these dark and miserable episodes over and over again a person can get worn down and fall into a condition of despair. Add to this the feeling of being helpless and hopeless and it may give the non sufferer an inkling of what could drive a sufferer to such a hideous end. Thus when you are at your most vulnerable and can find less and less reasons to go on it becomes easier and easier to just give in.
People almost never kill themselves because they are just in a down mood even if things are not going so well. It is not that it cannot happen; it’s just that the likelihood is very low. As you can see, there is a lot more to it than that and in fact with true depression there is an insidious driver involved which creates a direct link between suicide and depression.