Merck Manual

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Risk Factors for Suicidal Behavior

Risk Factors for Suicidal Behavior

  • Aggressive or impulsive behavior

  • Being an American Indian, an Alaskan native, or male

  • Bereavement or loss

  • Bullying (for example, cyberbullying, social rejection, discrimination, humiliation, disgrace)

  • Depression (especially when accompanied by anxiety, as part of bipolar disorder, or associated with recent hospitalization) and other mental disorders

  • Drug or alcohol use disorders

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness (when persistent)

  • Financial stress from economic downturns, debt, or underemployment

  • Living alone

  • Medical illness, particularly one that is painful or disabling, or affects the brain

  • Relationship conflict

  • Suicide, including current preoccupation with, well-defined plans for, family history of, and/or previous attempts at

  • Traumatic childhood experiences, including physical or sexual abuse

  • Work disruption (for example, unemployment) and periods of transition (for example, going from active duty to veteran status, retiring)