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Can the Suicide Risk of Severe Depression be Influenced by Decision Skills?

August 31st, 2015

severe depression, suicide risk

Severe depression can lead to a very high suicide risk, but can this risk be influenced by the decision skills that the individual has? Many people struggle with severe depression or even suicidal thoughts at times, but in the past there was no way to identify people who were the most likely to actually attempt suicide. Only a small percentage of people who are severely depressed actually attempt to commit suicide, and new research may be able to identify this percentage by their decision skills. Some people are naturally more susceptible to suicide and if these individuals can be identified early on then the outcome may be greatly different. The new research has determined that the way decisions are made by a person can determine whether the individual is vulnerable to suicide.

High risk decision making skills have been shown to make an individual more vulnerable to suicide. The research results can be found n the Journal of Psychiatric Research. McGill University Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Fabrice Jollant was involved in the research study and explained “We know that the close relatives of people who commit suicide carry certain traits linked to suicide vulnerability, even if they have never expressed them through a suicidal attempt. People who have a tendency to make risky decisions lean toward solutions that provide short-term benefits despite the high risk, instead of solutions that are safer over the long term. They also have difficulty identifying alternative solutions when faced with a problem. We have specifically demonstrated that individuals who make risky decisions experience more problems in their personal relationships, which represent classic triggers for suicidal crises.”

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