Suicide risk factors
Common risk factors include family history of suicidal behavior, mental disorders such as major depression, substance use disorders, hospitalization or psychotic disorders, history of physical or sexual abuse, previous suicide attempt or exposure to suicide, gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, or transgender or gender non-conforming identity, biologic factors, access to firearms, alcohol and drug abuse, social stress, social isolation, adoption, emotional and cognitive factors. Mnemonic for identification of risk factors "IS PATH WARM".
Common Risk Factors
- Risk factors for suicide may include:
- Family history of suicidal behavior
- Mental disorders such as major depression, substance use disorders, hospitalization or psychotic disorders
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Previous suicide attempt or exposure to suicide
- Gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, or transgender or gender non-conforming identity
- Biologic factors
- Access to means
- Alcohol and drug use
- Social stress
- Social isolation
- Emotional and cognitive factors
Less Common Risk Factors
- Poor self-esteem
- Impulsivity and risk-taking behavior
- Delinquent behavior
- Family dysfunction
- Parenting style characterized by little warmth and little control (rejecting and neglectful)
- Nonintact family
- Having run away from home
Warning signs help to determine one at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event. Warning signs include:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
|Mnemonic for Identification of risk factors
"IS PATH WARM"
|S||Substance abuse – Increased substance use|
|A||Anxiety – Worry, fear, agitation, or changes in sleep pattern|
|T||Trapped – Feeling like there is no way out of a bad situation|
|W||Withdrawal from friends, family, and society|
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