What are the sexual predilections for depression and suicide?

Updated: Sep 02, 2020
  • Author: Louise B Andrew, MD, JD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

More women than men seek treatment for depression, but this is not necessarily reflective of the true incidence of the disease. The BRFSS study by the CDC determined that women were significantly more likely than men to report major depression (4% vs 2.7%, respectively). [18]

Although depression is more often diagnosed in women, more men than women die as a result of suicide by a factor of 4.5:1. White men complete more than 78% of all suicides, with 56% of suicide deaths in males involving firearms. Poisoning is the predominant method among females.

An estimated 8-25 attempted suicides occur for every completion. Many of these are never discovered or never reported. It is critically important to recognize that the majority of suicide attempts are expressions of extreme distress in a very ill individual, and are categorically not, as has often been assumed historically, merely bids for attention.


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