How is judgment assessed during a mental status review to evaluate suicide risk?

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

An assessment of the patient’s judgment is important. How a person has handled stress and how he or she will handle it in the future are major concerns. Keep in mind that the less judgment the patient has, the greater the potential for suicide. Impaired decision making is associated with suicidal behavior in both adults and adolescents. [130]

It is important to note, for example, how the individual perceives attempts at suicide. The person who sees an overdose as a cry for help has better insight than the person who awakes from an overdose and says, "I wish I were dead."

The key idea with intellect assessment is to determine whether the person understands the sequences of his or her behavior. For example, did the person know that walking into traffic would be dangerous?


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