Depressive Disorder is a common mental health disorder which affections millions of Americans every year. The Center for Disease Control indicates that 9% of Americans suffer from depressive disorder symptoms at least on an occasional basis and 3.4% suffer from major depression.1
Depressive disorder symptoms may vary for sufferers but can include feeling anxious, hopeless, empty, worthless, helpless, guilty, pessimistic, hopeless, or sad. Additional symptoms include being irritable, sexual dysfunction or disinterest, decreased energy and fatigue, restlessness, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, and trouble getting through activities of daily living like routine hygiene or self-care and daily job tasks. Other symptoms may present themselves such as problems sleeping or eating, trouble with focus or concentration, body aches or pains, cramps, headaches, or digestive issues that do not resolve with medical treatment. Severe depression may lead to thoughts, plans or attempts of suicide and require urgent attention.
Among the most lethal depressive disorder symptoms is suicidal thoughts. Each day, 105 people in the US commit suicide, making it the leading cause of death in 2010 reports. This has additional effects beyond the sufferer and extends to family members and loved ones who may be conflicted or have trouble helping the depressed person despite their best efforts. Suicide or suicide attempts also have financial costs in addition to emotional ones and medical and work-related losses cost approximately $34.6 billion.2
Men are four times more likely than their female counterparts to die from suicide but they are less likely to experience suicidal thoughts or plans than women. Further studies indicate that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death overall for those aged 15-24, 2nd for 25-34 year-olds, 4th for 35-54 year-olds, and 8th for those aged 55-64. While more men commit suicide than women, female suicide rates for those 45-54 are at the highest rate and account for 9 of 100,000 deaths. Men aged 75+ represent the highest rate of male suicides and are responsible for 36 of 100,000 deaths. 2 Those who do not seek treatment for their suicidal thoughts associated with a depressive disorder symptoms are at higher risk of suicide. 2
Warning signs that someone you know may be considering suicide include:
Repeated thoughts of death or always talking about death.
Deep sadness, trouble sleeping or eating, loss of interest in social connections or activities formerly enjoyed. Symptoms become more persistent and get worse as time goes on.
Behavior of having a “death wish,” by taking unnecessary risks with driving, operating machinery, intentionally not taking health and safety precautions, heavy drinking or drug use.
Making comments about how useless, worthless, hopeless they are or the situation that they are in. Comments about how everything would be better if they were not longer here or that they want out.
Sings that they are making preparations such as tying up loose ends with business or personal relationships, changes of their will, or putting their affairs in order. Calling or visiting people to make things right and/or say goodbye.
Talking about killing themselves, suicide, or their plans of suicide or death.
Sudden changes in behavior. The person suddenly went from very sad and worried to happy or calm.3
If a loved one makes any statement that they are going to commit suicide or are making plans to, this must be taken seriously. This is not an attempt to gain attention but is an actual warning sign. Those who say they want to end their lives may make these statements as a last cry out for help. If a person has a history of a depressive disorder symptoms or has had previous signs or attempts of suicide in the past this is especially concerning as of those who have committed suicide, 20-50% have had a previous suicide attempt.3
Reach out to your loved one if you believe they may be experiencing depressive disorder symptoms or contemplating suicide. The important part is to let the person know you are listening and statements like having a lot to live for are generally unhelpful. Actively listen to what the person is saying and avoid trying to argue them out of committing suicide. Suicidal gestures, depression, talking about suicide, or talking about a plan for suicide are serious health and mental health emergencies and shouldn’t be taken lightly.3 If you or someone you love is displaying signs of suicide, take immediate action. Remove any weapons or other means of committing suicide and call for emergency services such as 9-1-1 or a center which specializes in suicide prevention and crisis intervention.
Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods. The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders. In Tennessee, about 3.7% of all adults will have serious thoughts of suicide. Furthermore, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment.
Our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies. Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery. Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviews. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.