Risk Factors for Suicide

1. Previous Suicidal Attempt:

Repetition of attempts is common, with 15 to 25 percent repeating suicidal acts within a year, and is associated with a greater risk of
eventual suicide. Prevention of repetition of suicidal behaviour and especially of suicide is a major aim in treating suicide attempters.

2. Psychiatric and personality disorders:

A range of psychiatric disorders are found in suicide attempters. DEPRESSION and ALCOHOL ABUSE are particularly common. In addition, substantial proportions of patients have PERSONALITY DISORDERS.

3. Life events and difficulties:

Life events, especially disruption in a relationship with a partner, frequently precede suicidal acts. Employment problems & financial difficulties particularly in males play an important role in depression which can ultimately lead to suicide.

4. Poor problem-solving skills:

Many suicide attempters have difficulties in problem-solving, particularly in dealing with difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

5. Impulsivity and aggression:

There is a strong link between suicidal behaviour and both impulsivity and aggression.

6. Low self-esteem:

Pessimistic attitude about the future, has been shown to be a key factor linking depression with suicidal acts. There is likely a link between low self-esteem and a tendency to experience hopelessness when faced by adverse circumstances.

7. Poor compliance with treatment:

Psychiatric Patients with previous history of suicidal ideation or attempts should take his treatment properly with regular follow-ups. Family members, friends and doctors should always motivate patient with encouraging words. Never try to show him his weaknesses.


  • New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry(2nd edition).
  • ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders.
  • Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-4

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