Can Anxiety Lead to Suicide?
Yes, it potentially can. The pandemic has proven that individuals react to adverse circumstances differently. And that reaction determines the experience that they have within the situation. There are also some individuals who face anxiety and can be triggered under certain circumstances. Sometimes suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, or suicide itself is the result.
If you’re struggling with substance misuse and a co-occurring mental illness such as anxiety or depression, you’re not alone. Resources are available. As a nationwide leader in addiction treatment, AAC provides both inpatient and outpatient treatment in a safe environment under compassionate and licensed medical professionals. Please reach out to get the help you need.
The Connection Between Suicide & Anxiety
In a study with the goal of examining the relationship between anxiety disorders and suicidal attempts, the results yielded that among those who reported a history of suicide attempts, more than 70% of those individuals had an anxiety disorder. The study was a nationally representative sample and accounted for significant co-morbidities.
The conclusion to this study is that anxiety disorders (specifically post traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder) are independently connected with attempted suicide.
In primary care, anxiety disorders tend to be under-detected and unrecognized. The United Sates Preventative Services Task Force, created with the purpose to aid primary care clinicians to identify early signs of anxiety, utilize a variety of screening tools such as questionnaires.
The Task Force recommended screening individuals for anxiety between the ages of 19-65 prior to COVID. However, based on the current mental health crisis in the U.S. due to the airborne virus, Clinical Psychologist and Professor at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in Worcester said, “COVID has taken a tremendous toll on the mental health of Americans. This is a topic prioritized for its public health importance…”
A challenge with this recommendation is not having a solution for how marginalized, disadvantaged groups would be able to seek treatment. And even if they do manage to do so and they receive a mental illness diagnosis from a primary care physician, how will they be able to seek ongoing care with a specialist based on a variety of factors, such as limited financial resources or transportation constraints?
- More than 40,000 people die by suicide annually in the United States.
- Roughly 9% of individuals report serious suicidal ideation.
- Roughly 3% of individuals attempt suicide in their lifetime.
Regarding the assessment of suicidal ideation, mental health, and substance use during COVID, a panel survey was completed among adults 18 and older.
The results from this assessment:
- 40.9% reported at least one adverse behavioral or mental health condition.
- 30.9% experienced symptoms of depressive disorder and anxiety disorder.
- 26.3% of individuals reported trauma-and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) associated with the pandemic.
- 10.7% reported that they seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior to survey completion.
Substance misuse and a co-occurring mental illness such as anxiety are health concerns that need to be taken seriously. Help and resources are available. If you find yourself battling with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions, please reach out for the help that you need today.