There is one common denominator shared by all individuals considering suicide. Every person who wants to take their life is suffering from: Major depression, also known, as clinical depression.
Happy people don’t want to end their lives. They look forward to most days and understand life it is not always perfect. Depressed people, on the other hand, do. They see life as exhausting and painful. And if they don’t see an end to the pain is possible in the near future, suicide can seem like the only logical way out.
What all suicidal people have in common: Major Depression
Definition and self-diagnosis checklist for Major Depression:
North America’s popular medical web site, WebMD.com defines Major Depression this way:
Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But major depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships – symptoms that are present every day for at least 2 weeks.
Diagnosing depression: What criteria do health professionals use to diagnosis severe depression?
Health professionals use the DSM-V, a medical text that lists the diagnostic criteria for all neurological disorders (illnesses that affect brain chemistry), to formally diagnosis depression. Below, is the outline they use.
DSM-V Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder:
Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2- week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
[Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.]
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others).
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5 percent of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
- Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
a) The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
b) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).
If you fit into the above criteria, you could have Major Depression. If you believe that is your diagnosis, you should continue to read the literature on this page. It will help you now while you wait to get professional help.