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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-32

Identifying suicidal risk and its association with depression in the elderly population

Department of Clinical Psychology, Amity University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Susmita Halder
Department of Clinical Psychology, Amity University, Major Arterial Road (South-East), Action Area II, Newtown, Kolkata - 700 135, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_12_20

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Background: With increased life expectancy and improved health-care facilities, the number of elderly persons is on the rise worldwide. According to the population census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India, who face several physical and mental health challenges, suicide being one of them. Increased life expectancy, rapid urbanization, sociocultural factors, changing family setups, and lifestyle changes have led to an emergence of varied problems, the most alarming being suicide among the elderly, which often goes unnoticed due to inadequate expression. Further, the risk of suicide increases with depression, which tends to be common among elderly people. Many a times, the indicative signs of depression in the elderly are missed and attributed to usual complaints associated with aging. It has become important to understand the suicidal ideation and behaviors in the elderly, for identifying the risk factors and further facilitating prevention. The present study aims to explore suicidal ideation and behavior among the elderly population. Materials and Methods: A total of 110 individuals of both genders aged 60 years and above were included in the study. The General Health Questionnaire-12 was administered for screening, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-R were administered to assess the presence of depression and suicidal behavior, respectively. Results: The results of the study show the presence of suicidal ideation and behavior in 42.72% of the individuals; it was also found to be more among males. Conclusions: Thus, these findings implicate that the elderly are at a considerable risk for suicidal behaviors, which warrants attention for early identification and subsequent psychosocial intervention.

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