Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Is Suicide a Mental Disorder

Is Suicide a Mental Disorder? Only about half of those who commit suicide have an identifi ed mental health problem, the most common being depression, substance-related disorders and schizophrenia. About 15 per cent of people with each disorder kill themselves (Meltzer 1998).

Surprisingly, perhaps, suicide is more strongly associated with moderate than severe depression, as those who are severely depressed may lack the volition to act on their feelings. Indeed, some people kill themselves as their depression begins to lift as they are still hopeless but have increasing levels of impulsivity and motivation. According to Bronisch and Wittchen (1994), 56 per cent of their sample of people with a diagnosis of depression reported thinking about death, 37 per cent reported a wish to die and 69 per cent had suicidal ideas.

However, these thoughts were not exclusive to depressed individuals: 8 per cent of a comparison group who had never been assigned a psychiatric diagnosis reported having suicidal ideas, and 2 per cent had made a suicide attempt. Suicide by people with schizophrenia is more often a result of demoralization than the result of hallucinations or delusions.

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