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Major Depressive Disorders and Increased Risk of Suicide

Posted by admin 12:31 am, 10 March 2016

The Sydney Morning Herald today featured an article on the significant rise in suicide rates in Australia over the past 12 months. 12 per 100,000 people in 2014 committed suicide that is the highest level in 13 years. There has been a significant rise (50%) in suicide of women aged 15-24 years and of adults aged 55-64 years. Men however make up approximately ¾ of all suicides in Australia and suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44 years.

These statistics are so concerning and demonstrate the extent of struggle for individuals experiencing severe depression. While research continues to evaluate the factors contributing to increased rates of depression and anxiety across all demographic groups, it is essential that we continue to commit to providing support and effective strategies for managing distress and suicidal thoughts and plans. It is also important that clinicians continue to provide successful gold standard treatment programs for the management of depressed mood.

At Mindright we focus on two therapeutic programs for managing severe depression and risk of suicide, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). For acute crisis, DBT can be effective in managing distress and regulating emotions. It has been well validated Internationally and has been found to be a good adjunct to CBT for managing major depression. CBT focuses primarily on behavioural activation/activity scheduling for breaking the lethargy circuit of depression, sleep hygiene, exercise and thought challenging to modify unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to the development and maintenance of depressed mood. CBT has been identified as the “gold standard” psychological therapy option for managing depressed mood.

Medication is also an important part of treating moderate to severe depressive disorders and are usually managed by your GP or specialist (e.g. psychiatrist). Hospital inpatient stays are also an option for complex and treatment resistant depressive disorders and there is now a youth specific hospital program at St Vincents Hospital that caters for the specific needs of the youth program who are often too old for a paediatric program and too young for the adult mental health system.

Crisis support can be provided additionally by
Lifeline 131114
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
BeyondBlue 1300 224 636