Edwin Schneidman, a researcher who dedicated his career to studying suicide, was interested in how rare the occurrence of was. Here are some of the findings on suicide:

In any given year, 30,000-35,000 people in the USA commit suicide.

Approximately 70 percent of people who die by suicide had major depression recurrent — severe with psychotic features.

Approximately 10-15 million, and sometimes as high at 17 million, men and women in any given year are diagnosed with major depression recurrent — severe with psychotic features.

Hence, 99.4 percent of men and women with major depression recurrent — severe with psychotic features do not die by suicide.

In fact, less than 1 percent of men and women with that diagnosis commit suicide.

Hence, the diagnosis of Major Depression Recurrent — Severe with Psychotic Features. It is correlational, but not causal, for suicide.

Edwin Schneidman, in 1971 developed a model for assessing persons “psychological vulnerability” to suicide. Accordingly, markers for suicide risk include:

  • Chronic symptoms (more than a year)
  • Early childhood trauma
  • A gender specific depression component. Women = disabling depression. Male = uncontrollable episodes of rage.
  • Self-medicating (typically with cannabis & alcohol)
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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."