Introduction Suicide is a very tragic life event for the victim, victim’s friends and family members and to society as a whole. We often hear about suicide deaths that occur in younger and middle-aged adults in the media but rarely is such attention given to elderly suicide (65 and older). In the United States there is a higher rate of suicide amongst the elderly than in any other part of the population. There are many factors to this problem, however depression among the elderly was recorded as the major contributing factor that lead them to suicide. Every elderly that committed suicide was reported to have been depressed.
“Depression is a major health problem that affects many older people, causing significant distress and disability, exacerbating existing medical conditions, and resulting in earlier death and higher use of services” (Frazer, Christensen, & Griffith ,2005 ). Depression in older adults differs from younger adults by a different symptoms and bio-psycho-social factors. “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest” ( Mayo Clinic, 2014 ). “Different forms of depression vary from, major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems” (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Depression makes it difficult to engage in normal daily chores or activities.
Therapeutic nihilism based on misinformed preconceptions of age and psychiatric treatment may be common. Too often depression is considered a natural reaction to the vicissitudesof later life ands is explained away as an inevitable and normal response. A study of antidepressants perscibing in primary care found that older patients... ... middle of paper ... ...ic illness. Spouses, family members, and friends may die. Retirement brings loss of income and loss of the workers role.
Adults with psychiatric illness are 20 times more likely to die from accidents or suicide than adults without psychiatric disorder.  Major depression, including bipolar affective disorder, often appears for the first time during the teenage years, and early recognition of these conditions will have profound effects on later morbidity and mortality. Is depression in adolescents a significant problem? The suicide rate for adolescents has increased more than 200% over the last decade.  Adolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youths aged 15 to 19 than cardiovascular disease or cancer.
The effectiveness of these programs will be explored. An individual factor that predisposes older adults to become suicidal is the mental health of an older adult. An accepted definition of mental health is the level of emotional wellbeing or the absence of a mental disorder (WHO, 2010). Several studies (e.g., Uncapher, Gallagher-Thompson, Osgood & Bongar, 1998; & Neufeld & O’Rourke, 2009) explored the effects of mental health issues in relation to suicide in older adults. These studies found; feeling hopeless, depressed and impulsivity could lead to suicide related ideation.
Middle-aged adults are likely to have mental health issues and stress. Such stress can come from dual caregiver responsibilities, economic challenges, and health problems. As the “baby boomer” generation is increasing in numbers, many middle-aged adults are left with stress of caring for parents and children. The three most used methods for suicide involves the use of a firearm, poisoning and suffocation by hanging. The greatest increase in incidents of suicide was shown in men aged 50-54 years and women aged 60-64.
People with psychiatric illnesses are twenty times more likely to die from accidents or suicide than people without psychiatric disorders (http://www.nami.org). Major depression, including bipolar affective disorder, often appears for the first time during teenage years, and early recognition of these conditions will have profound effects on later morbidity and mortality. Is depression in adolescents a significant problem? Well, the suicide rate for adolescents has increased more than 200% over the last decade (http://www.ndmda.org). Adolescent suicide is now responsible for more deaths in youths aged fifteen to nineteen than cardiovascular disease or cancer.
61% of all suicides involve firearms. From 1952 to 1992 suicides among teens nearly tripled. Today, it is the third leading cause of death for teenagers aged 15-19 (after motor vehicle accidents and unintentional injury). Suicide is increasing, particularly for teens and for those over 65. In young people, the suicide rate is relatively low (13.5/100,000 in 1993), but it is still a leading cause of death.
According to Harvard School of Public Health (n.d.), suicide affects parents, children, siblings, friends, lovers and spouses; the loss for society is psychological, spiritual, and financial. People who lose a loved one to suicide often experience devastating effects and deal with a complex grief. These “suicide survivors” typically feel a range of emotions from sadness, blame, and guilt to extreme anger and confusion. “Suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79% of all U.S. suicides” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2012). This gender paradox is one of the most compelling components regarding who is most at risk to attempt suicide.
In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. According the U.S Center for Disease Control, an estimated 276,000 kids between 14 and 17 try killing themselves each year, and more than 5,000 succeed. The current rate is four times that of 1950. (Merritt 9) This is shocking because teen suicide is one of the most preventable actions. Some people believe that teens who commit suicide do not give any warning signals.