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Dealing with depression is both a risk factor and a warning sign of suicidal thoughts or actions.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25 million Americans suffer from depression in a given year.

While not all of the 25 million become suicidal, more than half of people who die by suicide have struggled with major depression prior to their death.

People who are depressed should know that they are not alone in their feelings and that there are people and resources to help them. In fact, depression is treatable for those who get help. Though only half of people who are experiencing major depression seek treatment for it, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 4 out of 5 people who get treatment report that therapy or medication was effective for their depression — there is help and hope out there.

Often, depression distorts thinking so that a person can’t think clearly or rationally. Depression can also lead to a dependency on alcohol or other drugs, which are other risk factors for suicidal thoughts. All of this together means that it is important that if someone close to you is experiencing depression, you talk to them, and let them know that they are not alone. Tell them that there is help available to them when they need it.

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