eli5 What does it mean when someone “dies of depression”?


Does that mean they killed themselves? Kind of like we say someone died of cancer instead of multi-organ failure?

In: 1

Can either be a permannent ego death, or a physical death by suicide. Also, depression causes cancer. Extended periods of high stress hormones like cortisol has soooo many devastating physical effects, let alone mental affects.

While depression, especially chronic depression, can lead to life-shortening physical ailments, generally the phrase, “Died from depression,” is a euphemism for suicide.

Do you have an example we could check out? I can’t remember ever hearing this. I’ve heard the expression “died of a broken heart,” but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for. In this instance, from what I understand (based on cursory research while teaching King Lear), the body sends a glut of stress hormones such that it can cause heart trouble. And if you’re already predisposed to heart issues, that can lead to things like small heart attacks, which can be fatal. Perhaps “death from depression” is a similar concept, I’m not sure.

Basically, you stop caring for yourself. My uncle lost his wife and he was a plump dude who looked like Santa. He stopped taking care of himself and lost incredible amount of weight. His body starved and his heart eventually failed.