How is the potential for homicide assessed in patients with suicidal behaviors?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Any question of suicide also must be coupled with an inquiry into the person's potential for homicide. Suicide is often thought to represent aggression turned inward, whereas homicide represents aggression turned outward. Because suicide constitutes an aggressive act, the question regarding homicidal tendencies must be asked. 

A mixed-methods study in the UK analyzed 60 homicide-suicides and found that most victims were spouse/partners and/or children. Most perpetrators were male (88%) and most victims were female (77%). Few perpertrators had been in recent contact with mental health services before the incident (12%). [120]


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