What are the risk factors for suicide?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

In addition to older age and male sex, risk factors for suicide include the following [71, 72] :

  • Diagnosis of major depression

  • Previous history of suicide attempts

  • Depressive symptoms with agitation or distress

  • Burden of medical disease and the presence of a current serious medical condition (although this risk may be mediated by a diagnosis of depression)

  • Recent stressful life events, especially family discord

  • Lack of social support

  • Being widowed or divorced

  • The presence of a gun in the home

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • High levels of anxiety

  • Lack of a reason not to commit suicide

  • Presence of a specific plan that can be carried out

  • Rehearsal of the plan


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