It was a shock and tragedy for comedy lovers when Robin Williams died on Monday, August 11, 2014. What was even more devastating was that he took his own life as an alleged result of his battle with depression and potentially a substance abuse disorder.
Despite this horrible set of circumstances, we may still find a silver lining. There is no better time to discuss the struggles of depression, suicide prevention and red flags to watch out for before it’s too late.
This plethora of information could help save future lives.
When a woman already has depression, it’s easy for friends and loved ones to acknowledge that fact and assume it won’t get any worse. That is unfortunately not true.
Depression can change in severity, just like any mental illness or medical condition. So it’s important to keep an eye especially on loved ones who are currently suffering from a mental illness. It could mean the difference between that person getting help and treatment, or potentially attempting suicide if life becomes unbearable.
There are certain risk factors and signs that a depressed woman may attempt suicide.
Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of “You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life,” cautioned via email that although not every suicidal woman shares her thoughts with others, it is a major warning sign if a woman says out loud that she is contemplating suicide.
Here are eight potential risk factors for suicide (especially when noticed in a person who has a deepening depression):
1) “Talking about giving up”
2) “Putting her affairs into order”
3) “Alluding to harming herself”
4) Family history
5) “Past history of attempts”
6) Access to weapons, medication or drugs that could end her life
7) “Living alone and/or lack of social supports with whom she has regular contact”
8) History of mental illness
Durvasula also gave seven warning signs that depression is getting worse:
1) “The sad mood will get 'sadder,' and this may manifest by greater apathy (literally doesn't want or feel like she is able to do the things she needs or wants to do).”