Warning Signs of Suicide in Adults
The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide:
- Depression or other mental health condition, such as severe anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), or schizophrenia
- Depression followed by sudden cheerfulness and contentment, which may mean the person has made a decision to finalize a suicide plan
- A previous suicide attempt
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Preoccupation with death in conversations
- Giving away personal possessions
Factors that may increase the risk of suicide include having:
- A family member who has committed suicide.
- A family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
- A history of physical or sexual abuse.
- Diagnosis of a serious medical illness.
- Failing relationships.
- A divorce.
- A recent life change, such as a death of a spouse or other member of the family, marriage, break-up of a marriage, the birth of a child, a job loss, a job promotion or demotion, or legal problems.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.
Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening to commit suicide, get help right away. To learn more, see Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Current as ofOctober 17, 2013
Current as of: October 17, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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