The Darkest Side of Anxiety and Depression
Suicidal thoughts are more common than you may think and here’s why.
It’s been reported as many as 55% of the population have seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, suicidal behavior and completed suicides are also common. Often associated with untreated anxiety and depressive disorders, suicidal behavior often occurs when a person feels as though he or she has no other option in life.
Suicide devastates a family, often leaving parents, spouses, and children feeling abandoned, guilt-stricken, and depressed.
Suicide is the 8th Leading Cause of Death in the United States
Women attempt suicide three times as often as men, yet men actually succeed in killing themselves three times more than women. Women typically use suicide as a cry for help, while men typically hold back their feelings until they are overwhelmed and see no other option for healing their pain.
Treating Depression & Suicidal Behavior in a New Way
Brain SPECT studies have been useful in helping to further understand suicidal behavior. We have scanned more than 300 people who have attempted suicide. The majority of these patients had a tendency to get stuck on negative thoughts, had a short fuse, were easily irritable, impulsive and showed poor judgment.
Most suicidal thoughts are brief in duration. Suicide is possible when someone gets locked into negative thoughts and has a short fuse and problems with impulsivity. Half of the suicides in America are committed when a person is intoxicated, because alcohol further suppresses prefrontal cortex function, taking the lid off of impulse control.
How Brain Imaging Can Change Someone’s Life
Our SPECT studies provide a useful window into the brain of these patients and help bring together the diversity of biological findings. We have studied hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults who exhibited suicidal, cutting and violent behavior and compared them to people who have never had these issues.
Clearly, the brain patterns of these patients are different from those of the nonviolent person. We have found clinically and statistically significant differences between the suicidal aggressive group and the non-suicidal and nonaggressive group. The results cluster around three major findings: decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, increased anterior cingulate activity, and increased or decreased activity in the left temporal lobe.
It is very important to determine the nature and origin of these violent behaviors because that will predict appropriate treatment. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts we would love to speak with you today. Please reach out at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit. You are not alone.