There are specific diagnostic criteria for both depression and anxiety, each having specific names and codes associated with them. Major Depressive Disorder and Dysthymic Disorder are two official names for types of depression. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia are a few manifestations of anxiety. In the simplest of terms, depressed people are so emotionally exhausted that they care about nothing; anxious people are so nervous and stressed because they care about everything. On a spectrum, they appear at opposite ends. Depression by itself is a horrible affliction and so are the various anxiety disorders that exist. When paired, they are two competing forces on the end of a scale that can hurl the mind into an overwhelming state of trauma and anguish. It is in that state that thoughts of suicide begin to manifest and it is the reason why anxiety and depression are so deadly.
It is true that people commit suicide because they are depressed. However, it is the anxiety that prompts suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts about death that one cannot seem to stop. Imagine being on a plane and fearing that it will crash into the ocean. No part of you actually wants the plane to smash into the waves, but you can’t rid the idea from your head. This is what it’s like to have suicidal ideation. The part of your brain that controls higher order functioning is compromised as well as the most evolutionary ancient part that makes us act out of pure self-preservation. People want to kill themselves for a variety of reasons, but from a clinical point of view, suicidal ideation is a sign that the brain has been severely compromised, which is why many States in America as well as countries across the world allow patients who are suicidal to be hospitalized against their will. The brain’s most basic function is to keep us alive. When it starts to entertain thoughts of suicide, it is a clear indication that the brain is essentially shutting down, similar to a computer infected by a virus.