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 use
- Preoccupation with death in conversations
- Giving away personal possessions
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.
Drug Advisory. The Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) of Health Canada has issued:
- An advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The HPFB does not recommend that people stop using these medicines, but to watch for warning signs of suicide in those using them. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when doses are changed.
Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away and learn more about Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
Current as of: December 7, 2017
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, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health