Information from a new study is showing that anxiety has closer ties to suicide rates than depression. Information from this study was published in a special issue of Depression and Anxiety. Four different papers are linking anxiety to suicide more often than depression.
The first study was conducted by Dr. Phillip Batterham, who analyzed information collected from 7,485 adults. What that study found that the thoughts of suicide were stronger in the patients who had anxiety than in those who were depressed. Another study, conducted by Holly Wilcox, looked into the role that PTSD played in the suicidal thoughts of 1,433 adults suffering from anxiety and depression who had attempted suicide. The added PTSD increased suicide risk by 2.5 in those patients whose PTSD was caused by a violent assault.
Another study conducted by Zimri Yaseen looked at 2,864 patients who were suffering from depression. This study found that panic attacks that were linked to a fear of dying were a common predictor of suicide attempts. The last study that was included in the report was conducted by Amrit Kanwar and team, which looked at role that anxiety played in suicide attempts. All of the studies combined seem to show conclusively that anxiety is more likely than depression to cause suicide attempts.
Both anxiety and depression are treated with antidepressant medications like Effexor and Paxil (both SSRIs). These drugs are the third-highest-prescribed drug type in the United States. Drugs like Paxil and Effexor have been proven to cause violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior and have been linked to birth defects when used during pregnancy. It is for this reason that many doctors are now seeking to treat the conditions with talk therapy or other non-medicinal treatments before turning to the drugs. It is likely helped by the fact that numerous studies have proven that drugs like Paxil and Effexor work no better than placebos at curing depression and anxiety.