Every day in our country, 121 people take their own lives. Though it can be hard to understand suicide from a distance, it is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. Because so many people who die by suicide experience mental illness, better mental health treatment is one key to preventing suicide.
Generally speaking, there are two types. A spontaneous suicide happens when a person responds to a highly emotional event, such as a marital breakup, perhaps under the influence of a substance such as alcohol. By contrast, a planned suicide is carried out after much deliberation. “Though it’s not uncommon in someone suffering from depression, it’s very concerning when a patient is having suicidal thoughts,” says Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, director of the Yale Depression Research Program.