When depression and suicide are linked: A new study


Suicidal depression is the most common mental illness in older people.

This is especially true for older people who have been living alone or in a small group, and older people with depression and suicidal ideation.

Suicidal ideation is a sign of an underlying mental illness.

People with depression also have increased risk of suicide.

The results of a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo show that people with suicidal depression have a greater risk of suicidal ideations than people without the disorder.

“These findings are exciting because they provide evidence that suicidal depression is associated with suicide, which is a common and often overlooked risk for older adults,” said lead author Michael E. Hirsch, a doctoral student in psychology at the university.

“Suicide is the third leading cause of death for older Americans, after heart disease and cancer.”

“There’s a lot of literature about how older people can be at increased risk for suicide, and we found that this increased risk is particularly pronounced for people with suicide ideation,” said co-author Peter A. M. Kranz, a research scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Michigan State University.

“What’s interesting is that suicidal ideators also have more depressive symptoms than people with no mental illness, and that’s consistent with the notion that depression and suicidality are linked.”

In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 people who were surveyed by telephone about suicidal ideating, depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behaviors from 1999 to 2011.

They also compared the mental health of these respondents with that of a matched group of people without suicidal ide or suicidal behavior, who had never experienced any of these symptoms.

The researchers found that those with a history of depression were at higher risk of developing suicidal ideational behavior than people who did not have any history of psychiatric disorders.

This suggests that depression is a risk factor for suicidal ideator behavior.

For example, people with a psychiatric disorder or mental illness were significantly more likely to have attempted suicide than those without psychiatric disorders or mental illnesses.

“The association between depression and risk of suicide suggests that older people may have increased vulnerability to suicidal ideate behavior,” said Mimi K. Hines, a postdoctoral researcher in the Kranzy Family Center for the Study of the Human Brain and Mind at the Department for Psychological and Neurosciences at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

“The idea that older adults with depression are more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts is consistent with what is known about risk of depression and its associated comorbidities in older adults.”

“Suicidal ideators are also at increased cardiovascular risk,” said Kranza.

“This suggests that the risk of cardiovascular events is higher for people who are depressed than for people without depressive symptoms.”

“This study provides new evidence that depression may be associated with suiciding, which in turn may contribute to suicide,” said Dr. E. Michael Smith, the lead author of the study and the director of the MTS Center for Depression and Suicide Prevention at the USAMRIAD.

“We need to be mindful of our own symptoms, our environment, and the mental state of our caregivers.

For older adults, the need to self-medicate, and even for suicide ideators, is a strong predictor of risk for suicidal behavior.”

“These results demonstrate the importance of working with care providers to provide effective support and to identify appropriate interventions to improve well-being in the long term,” said Professor David A. Fisch, the U of M Professor of Psychiatry and the lead investigator of the research.

“It is imperative to be aware of and respond to mental health issues as they arise in older patients and to seek care in the emergency department or emergency psychiatric unit, where patients can receive appropriate care, including psychotherapy, to address the underlying underlying problems.”

The findings of this study are published in the April 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

For more information about suicide prevention, visit the UMC Suicide Prevention Center, available at

Contact the UCC Press Office: 734-724-2114, or [email protected]

, , ,