The pain experienced in unipolar major depression may be greater than in any other illness. Even patients with bone cancer and other terribly painful illnesses do not usually kill themselves to get relief, unless they are also suffering from unipolar major depression. Some depressed individuals who do not really want to die end up killing themselves in fits of despair, impulsivity, or poor judgment.
If you are seriously depressed, you must take the danger of possible suicide seriously. If you are close to a depressed person, it is often a good idea to ask about suicide. More often than not, the depressed person will be glad to get the secret off his or her chest.