With the recent high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, and before that Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, and Robin Williams, it seems that suicide has become a pattern in society.

The shocking reality is that, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is now a leading cause of death in the United States, and rates have increased 25% since 1999. And, the CDC reports that 54% of people who die by suicide have no known history of mental illness.

“It doesn’t mean they don’t have mental illness; it means because they have no history of mental illness that means they haven’t been in treatment. They’ve had mental illness most likely but have not been treated for it,” Dr. Phil says during a conversation with Coach Mike Bayer. “So they’ve either had an untreated mental illness, or they have encountered some kind of acute stress, grief, abuse, some romantic breakdown, some financial crisis.”

The World Health Organization reports that 90% of the people who take their life did have a mental illness at the time that they did it, which Dr. Phil says means that it wasn’t a rational decision.

“They weren’t thinking mentally and emotionally clearly at the time that they took their lives,” Dr. Phil makes clear. “Taking your own life is not something that’s done by rational people; it’s something that’s done by people who are suffering from mental illness, half of which never ask for help.”

Hear more in the video above, including the psychology of what may drive a person to want to end their own life.

And, next, Dr. Phil and Coach Mike will share the warning signs of somebody who is at risk for suicide and what to do about it when you recognize them. Check back soon on DrPhil.com to learn more.

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out:
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
Visit: SuicidePreventionLifeline.org
Join the movement: BeThe1To.com, #BeThe1To