Frequency of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts in Young Adults of Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study

Parivash Anwar, Rabiya Salman, Mehak Zahra, Rabail Tufail, Rana Saad bin Sohail, Laiba Arshad


Objective: To find the frequency and association of depression and suicidal ideation in young adults.
Study design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in different areas of Pakistan, including Lahore and Karachi with the main population participating from the Islamabad and Rawalpindi region from May 2016 to August 2016.
Materials and Methods: Printed and online versions of the questionnaire were filled by conveniently available young adults in different cities of Pakistan between the ages of 15-25 years. Questionnaires were designed in three parts: Part 1 comprised demographics. Part 2 was the Goldberg Depression Questionnaire which is used for depression screening, while Part 3 was the SBQ-R® used to identify individuals having suicide ideation and those at risk of carrying out a suicide attempt.
Results: A high proportion of individuals were in the range of mild-moderate depression, 87 (43.7%), while a high proportion of individuals, 139 (69.8%), possessed a suicide score range of 3-6, which corresponds to a very low suicide attempt risk. The highest suicide score was between 16-18 and was possessed by only 2 (1%) individuals, while the highest depression score, which was any value above 54, was possessed by 45 (22.6%) individuals. Also, with increasing suicide score, the frequency seemed to decrease; 32 (16.1%) for a score range of 7-9, 15 (7.5%) for 10-12 score range and 11 (5.5%) for a score range of 13-15. However, the correlation coefficient between the two had a value of +0.5, so there was a marked positive correlation.
Conclusion: The frequency of depression in young adults was considerably high since many of the participants were exposed to mild, moderate as well as severe depression. Also, there was a positive correlation between depression and suicide scores which predicted that depression can be a cause of suicide ideation and attempts. As the depression levels increased, the frequency of suicide tendencies was also salient.

Keywords: Depression, Ideation, Pakistan, Suicide, Suicidal Behavior, Youth.

How to cite this: Anwar P, Salman R, Zahra M, Tufail R, Sohail RS, Arshad L.  Frequency of Depression and Suicidal Thoughts in Young Adults of Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study. Life and Science. 2022; 3(4): 168-173. doi:

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