Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior

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Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior

written by Jennifer Nelson Written by Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewBy Reviewed by: Melissa Dowd (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)

Melissa Dowd (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)

Melissa Dowd received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of CA and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. In addition to her work as a clinical therapist, Melissa is passionate about promoting emotional wellness through leading workshops, guest appearances, and across social media platforms.

January 24, 2021 Read Time - 4 minutes

Warning Signs of Depression and Suicidal Behavior

Look for the following symptoms of suicidal depression:

  • Frequent thoughts of death or violence
  • Avoiding social contact
  • Talking about suicide
  • Increased drug or alcohol use
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior
  • Self harming
  • Saying goodbye to people like it’s the last time you’ll see them
  • Finding ways to kill yourself, like stockpiling drugs or buying a gun
  • Feeling hopeless or trapped
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Sleeping or eating more or less
  • Agitation or anxiousness
  • Giving away belongings
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.


Risk Factors for Suicidal Depression

Suicidal depression can affect anybody. However, there are many risk factors that can increase a person’s risk of committing suicide, like:

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction
  • An underlying psychiatric problem, like PTSD, bipolar disorder, or major depression
  • Chronic pain or illness or a terminal diagnosis
  • Being LGBTQ+ in an unsupportive home
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, agitated, lonely, or socially isolated
  • Having suicidal thoughts with a gun in the home
  • A stressful life event
  • A family history of drug abuse, mental illness, violence, or sexual abuse

Treatment for Suicidal Depression

Fortunately, suicidal depression is treatable. While medication (like antidepressants) or talk therapy alone may work, the two are usually combined for the best results.

Other treatment for suicidal depression may include:

  • Exercise – Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week can improve your mood
  • Limiting or eliminating drug or alcohol use – Drugs and alcohol can worsen depression
  • Alternative therapies – Acupuncture, meditation, or herbal supplements may improve symptoms
  • Light therapy – Using a UV lamp can increase levels of serotonin, the “happiness hormone”
  • Take care of yourself – Get enough sleep, avoid negative people, eat healthy, set boundaries, participate in activities you enjoy, learn a new skill

Read: High Functioning Depression

What is Depression

Depression is on the rise globally. According to the World Health Organization, “Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected.” It is important to understand what depression is and how to help yourself or others who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Suicidal Depression Treatment Online

The good news is that suicidal depression is treatable. PlushCare offers two different services that may be able to help you or a loved one.

Our online therapy service allows you to book a virtual appointment with one of our licensed therapists. An online therapy appointment costs $169 per session or $149 for weekly sessions. You get a $20 discount for booking weekly therapy sessions. Our therapists are here to talk about any problems, struggles, or suicidal thoughts you or a loved one may be dealing with. Just click here to set up your first session.

If our therapists believe you may benefit from medication, they may recommend you book an appointment with one of our trusted doctors. PlushCare is proud to offer convenient, reliable, and affordable virtual appointments you can access from the comfort of your home. Together, our therapists and doctors will work to ensure you get the help you deserve. 

Click here to book an appointment with one of PlushCare’s doctors. If our doctors believe you would be best treated with medication, they can write you a prescription to be picked up at your local pharmacy.

Some common prescriptions our doctors write are for antidepressants, including:

  • Cymbalta
  • Lexapro
  • Amitriptyline
  • Zoloft
  • Celexa
  • Paxil

Asking for help for suicidal depression can be very difficult. Talking to a doctor or online therapist may be easier for those struggling to find the energy to actively seek out help. 

You can feel better or help a friend or family member find hope and happiness again. All you need to do is reach out.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.


Depression Quiz

The following 20 questions are sourced from top depression tests with questions vetted by the Psych Central Research team. They have been carefully selected to ensure a comprehensive look at your mental health and specifically determine any symptoms of depression. When taking this test analyze your emotions from the past week. Note, this test is not a diagnostic tool, only a doctor can diagnose depression.

I do things slowly.
I'm hopeless about my future.
I have trouble concentrating.
I feel that pleasure and joy has left my life.
I struggle to make decisions.
I have lost interest in things that used to be important to me.
I'm sad and unhappy.
I'm agitated and keep moving around.
I'm fatigued and it takes great effort for me to do simple tasks.
I feel I am a guilty person and deserve punishment.
I feel like a failure.
I feel lifeless.
My sleeping pattern has changed, I either sleep too much or too little.
I fantasize about suicide.
I plan how I might kill myself.
I feel trapped or caught.
I feel depressed even when good things happen to me.
Good things happen to me.
Without dieting I have lost or gained weight.
I feel alone, no one is there for me.

Read More About Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior


Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Promote National Suicide Prevention Month. Accessed on December 16, 2020 at

Mayo Clinic. Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts. Accessed on December 16, 2020 at

World Health Organization. Depression. Accessed on December 16, 2020 at

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