The number of people seeking depression treatment in the United States has doubled in the past 15 years to 25 million a year. An alarming 90% of these individuals received prescription for antidepressants.
Another frightening number is the 20% of the individuals that commit suicide are over the age of 65. This age group represents 13% of the population of the United States.
These odds are fairly concerning given that the national average is 11 suicides for every 100,000 individuals in the country. When you consider that 1 out of every 4 of the over 65 groups succeed at their suicide attempts where 4 out of every 200 succeed in young adults.
Massive Depression in the United States
According the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 17 million individuals in the United States suffer from depression. For women, there is a rate of 1 out of every 4 that suffer from severe depression in their lifetime. Approximately 9.5% of the population (18.8 million people) has depressive illnesses.
Many people will turn to alcohol to self-medicate against depression. Unfortunately once the initial lift the alcohol gives you wears off the individual is faced with the depression again.
This of course leads to the individual taking another drink to get back where they started again. This would lead you to believe that the alcohol is being used to follow the depression, but in the men studied it seems that the depression came after the alcohol began.
It’s in the Genes
There is some science that suggests that there is a genealogical basis to the alcohol and depression interaction. There is a gene can be triggered from drugs, alcohol, cocaine and stress. This gene has a relationship to depression and can bring about a number of issues such as manic-depression, seizures, depression and other mental illnesses.
The Statistics are Different for Men and Women
It seems that men suffer from depression equal to that of women when there is no alcohol component to the puzzle. This shows dramatically that the environment is critical in the shaping of how the genes are expressed.
Women that are under stress often exhibit more anxiety disorders and deep depression, while men exhibit greater alcoholism, criminality, violence and antisocial behaviors. This is compounded by the fact that the number of women that attempt suicide in the United States is double the number of men. However, men are four times more likely to be successful in their attempt then women.
Suicides Account for Large Numbers of Deaths
There is a suicide every 17 minutes in the United States. In the year 1998, over 30,000 individuals took their own lives in the United States, making it the third leading cause of death in people ranging in age between 15 years and 24 years.
Alcohol is thought to be the major factor in many of these suicides causing feelings of deepening depression and negativity because of the drinking making them look toward suicide as a means of taking control of their lives.
Alcohol Blocks Judgment
Individuals who find themselves depressed should avoid drinking alcohol as it will make the feelings of hopelessness and despair more intense. Alcohol is actually a depressant and although it can be relaxing, it is also the reason that thoughts can be easily made into reality followed by action to carry them out.
This is one reason that suicide is so easy to carry out when you are under the influence of alcohol. Those that might have thought about killing themselves in the past will likely have the ability to put the thoughts into action if they are drinking or have been drinking on a regular basis over a period of time as the alcohol begins to remove or counter act inhibitors that would normally stop this action.
Any abnormal use of alcohol, whether you are binge drinking or just drinking too much throughout the week, can be seriously harmful to your health. If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or alcohol misuse or abuse, there is help out there for you to consider. If you know someone struggling, it can be very helpful to look into an intervention.
The right alcoholism treatment program is going to provide you with the emotional and physical support that you need in order to move past your alcohol use into healthier and happier ways of dealing with what ails you. Today is the day for you to pick up the phone and reach out for the help that you deserve.