What are the leading causes of suicide?
The most significant causes of suicide are untreated depression and alcoholism. About 40% of all people who seek treatment for alcohol abuse claim to have attempted suicide at least once during their lifetime. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are also significant risk factors for suicide. Social stigma, shame, and a perceived lack of resources are major contributors to why people do not seek treatment for their mental health issues. Untreated mental health disorders can quickly spiral out of control, leading the sufferer to feel that drugs, alcohol, and suicide are the only means of escape from their pain.
Suicide rates for women are highest between the ages of 44 and 45, whereas men aged 65 and older are at the highest risk for suicide. People of American Indian and Alaskan Native have the highest suicide rates in the U.S., followed by non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians.
What are the signs and symptoms family and friends need to watch out for?
Who can treat suicidal patients?
A primary care physician is usually the first person to notice suicidal patterns in a patient and recommend them for treatment. Psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and social workers are all trained in helping suicidal patients. Friend and family support can also greatly aid in a person’s recovery from mental illness and suicidal ideation.