Depression and Suicide: Factors, Signs, and Treatment

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for Americans. In fact, a person commits suicide every 11 minutes. And, while suicide doesn’t discriminate and can affect any demographic of individuals, people who struggle with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) have a higher risk of suicide. Therefore, it’s important for people living with depressive disorders and their loved ones to understand the connection between depression and suicide. This way, more individuals can identify their own risks of suicide, signs of suicide, and methods for treatment that can help. And, more individuals can be saved from suicide by understanding this type of information and getting the help they need to prolong their lives and reach a state of healing.

Some of the Factors that Affect Depression and Suicide

There are certain factors that can influence people living with depressive disorders that can increase the risk of suicide. Understanding these factors can help people living with depressive disorders navigate these areas of life differently and more cautiously. This way, suicidal ideation can be managed and even prevented. Some of the factors that can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors for people living with depression can include:

Social Media’s Influence

Social media is now a part of most people’s daily lives. Social media platforms are places to share information to friends and family about what’s going on in your life online. And, to meet new people who share similar interests. But, social media can also be harmful if misused and can even lead to worsening mental health symptoms for people living with depressive disorders. For example, when social media is overused, individuals are at a higher risk of stressing the brain which can lead to symptoms of poor concentration and focus as well as unmanageable emotions. Furthermore, social media can negatively impact a person’s self-perception as it constantly forces individuals to compare their lives with what they see of others’ lives on these platforms. Finally, the negative mental effects in combination with how social media can negatively affect a person’s self-perception can lead to avoidance of others and isolation, which can keep people living with depression to reach out for support from loved ones and treatment. Therefore, increasing the risk of suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors.

Sleep Patterns

Sleep is vital for both healthy physical and mental functioning. Unfortunately, people living with depressive disorders are also plagued with the inability to sleep, or insomnia. Depression and insomnia are common and insomnia can either develop as the result of depression or symptoms of depression can result in the development of insomnia. In either case, it’s important for people living with both depression and insomnia to seek help. A lack of sleep and an infrequent sleeping pattern can lead to worsening depressive symptoms, as a lack of sleep can negatively impact mood management. When a person with depression doesn’t get enough sleep, they may struggle with negative moods, slower cognition, negative thought patterns, lower ability to empathize with others, and severe exhaustion. Dealing with the symptoms of depression and lack of sleep can make living with depression even worse, which can increase the chances of suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors.

Signs of Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm

Along with the factors that cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors, it’s also important to be able to recognize the signs of suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviors. Some of the signs that can warn of suicide may include:

  • making plans for items after suicide is attempted and wrapping up any obligations
  • writing or saying goodbyes to loved ones
  • isolating from others and avoiding social interactions
  • intense shifts in moods
  • an obsession with death or dying
  • using drugs or alcohol to numb emotions
  • increased rate of self-damaging or risky actions
  • expressing feeling like a burden to loved ones

Getting Help for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and suicide, it’s time to get the help you need. You don’t have to feel like this forever. And, you aren’t a burden to anyone. You deserve to live a life full of happiness, be healthy, and feel safe. Help for people struggling with depression and suicide is available at Delray Center for Integrative Medicine. Find out more about our programs and services from our website and contact us for a confidential consultation today.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


Existing patients, please text 561-409-7296 for follow-up appointment requests or if you have medication concerns please text 561-409-7296.