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Suicidal Behavior

By Paula J. Clayton, MD

Suicidal behavior includes completed suicide and attempted suicide. Thoughts and plans about suicide are referred to as suicide ideation.

Completed suicide is a suicidal act that results in death. Attempted suicide is a nonfatal, self-directed, potentially injurious act intended to result in death. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury. Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a self-inflicted act that causes pain or superficial damage but is not intended to cause death. (See also the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patients With Suicidal Behaviors. )

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