- Worldwide there are more deaths due to suicide than to accidents, homicides and war combined.
- Over 34,000 people in the U.S. die by suicide every year.
- A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the U.S. An attempt is estimated to be made once every 40 seconds.
- There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three female attempts for each male attempt.
- Firearms are the most frequent method of suicide among adults in the U.S.
- Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide had at least one psychiatric illness at the time of death. The most common diagnoses are depression and drug and/or alcohol abuse.
- Early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses appears to be the best way to prevent suicide.
- Certain personality disorders, such as borderline and antisocial personality disorders, appear to carry high risk for suicide. Impulsivity also appears to be a risk factor for suicide.
- Between 20 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Although the majority of people who die by suicide have not made a previous attempt, a serious suicide attempt is a clear risk factor for suicide death.
It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).