Depression Treatment Facilities Lower Suicide Rate

A recent study has shown that depression treatment facilities are lowering the suicide rate by psychotherapy or antidepressant drugs.

A study was conducted on more than 109,000 patients and shows that a recommendation in 2004 to label a black box warning on antidepressants might be without merit. Some of these antidepressants include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The original warning described the potential for increased suicideal thoughts among young adults and teenagers who were prescribed the medication.  Closer clinical monitoring of these patients was also urged by the warning.

Researchers are now discovering that since the warning was based on placebo-controlled trials and that they did not originally look at suicide attempts because they were not frequent enough and too rare.

The most recent trial which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry this July, does infact focus on suicide attempts.  It also finds that depression treatment whether it be psychotherapy or pharmaceutical does effectively fight depression and reduce the amount of suicide attempts.

“Our study indicates there is nothing specific to antidepressant medications that would either make large populations of people with depression start trying to kill themselves or protect them from suicidal thoughts.” says Dr. Greg Simon, a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health, a Seattle-based nonprofit health care system.

Studies have also shown that if there were to be a risk in taking the medications, it would clearly be outweighed by the benefits.  However the worst option of all would be receiving no treatment whatsoever.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.