Warning Signs of Suicide in Adults

Topic Overview

The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide:

Factors that may increase the risk of suicide include having:

  • A family member who has died by 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.

Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued advisories 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 suicide, get help right away. To learn more, see Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.

Credits

Current as of: May 28, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger MD
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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