Mental Health Awareness: Depression and Suicide Among the Elderly
Do you experience feelings of hopelessness? Have you lost pleasure in activities you once enjoyed? Do you cry more frequently? Have you gained or lost weight? If you have experienced a combination of these symptoms, which have persisted for two weeks or more you may be suffering from depression.
One in five Americans live with a mental health condition–or 43.7 million people. 6.9% of adults–16 million people–have experienced a major depressive episode in the last year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, the 3rd leading cause of death for those aged 10–24, and the 2nd leading cause of death for those aged 15-24 (statistics from the National Alliance of Mental Illness).
For the elderly, depression affects 6.5 million of the 35 million adults over the age of 65. The senior population accounts for 20% of all suicides, the highest success rate belongs to senior men. Depression is the leading factor to seniors attempting suicide. Those statistics are staggering and chances are either you or someone you know suffers from depression or another mental health condition.
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