Certain risk factors can help identify adults at greater risk for committing suicide.


Increased risk for suicide is associated with:

(1) male gender

(2) widowed, divorced or single (not married)

(3) lack of, or recent loss of, social supports

(4) recent loss of employment (unemployed)

(5) fall in social and/or economic status

(6) presence of psychiatric illness (major affective disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, other), especially when mixed (major psychiatric illness and personality disorder)

(7) physical illness

(8) family history of suicide

(9) psychological turmoil and/or high level of hopelessness

(10) previous attempt(s) at suicide

(11) alcohol or drug abuse

(12) presence of firearms



• Major affective disorders at risk include psychosis and bipolar disorder.

• Severe mental illness may underlie the patient's socioeconomic problems.


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