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When Depression Becomes Deadly

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What's the best advice for family and friends if a loved one is depressed and seems in danger of a suicide attempt?

Insist the person get mental health help, Krakower says. "I think a lot of times when people make these statements [about suicide], people don't know what to take at face value. They become numb. They don't know what to do for them."

Steps to take may include:

  • Call 911, a suicide hotline, or police.
  • Don't leave the person alone.
  • Take away weapons, drugs, or anything that a person could use to harm themselves.
  • If possible, take the person to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room.

Schneider reports consulting work with pharmaceutical companies that manufacture antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.

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