Suicide


General or Other | Psychiatry | Suicide (Disease)


Description

Suicide is the process of purposely ending ones own life. Nearly 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, with anywhere from 10 million to 20 million suicide attempts annually.

Causes and Risk factors

Although the reasons why people commit suicide are multifaceted and complex, life circumstances that may immediately precede someone committing suicide include the time period of at least a week after discharge from a psychiatric hospital or a sudden change in how the person appears to feel (for example, much worse or much better). Examples of possible triggers (precipitants) for suicide are real or imagined losses, like the breakup of a romantic relationship, moving, loss (especially if by suicide) of a friend, loss of freedom, or loss of other privileges.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Those who treat people who attempt suicide tend to adapt immediate treatment to the persons individual needs. Those who have a responsive and intact family, good friendships, generally good social supports, and who have a history of being hopeful and have a desire to resolve conflicts may need only a brief crisis-oriented intervention.

Suicide-prevention measures that are put in place following a psychiatric hospitalization usually involve mental-health professionals trying to implement a comprehensive outpatient treatment plan prior to the individual being discharged. This is all the more important since many people fail to comply with outpatient therapy after leaving the hospital. It is often recommended that all firearms and other weapons be removed from the home, because the individual may still find access to guns and other dangerous objects stored in their home, even if locked. It is further often recommended that sharp objects and potentially lethal medications be locked up as a result of the attempt. ...