Risk Factors

  • Major psychiatric disorder – depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Some major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide
  • Role failure or perceived role failure – job, family, school
  • Imprisonment or impending imprisonment – other legal sanctions that may have serious effect on self image
  • Low levels of serotonin
  • Chronic disease / Intense pain with little hope of relief
  • Chronic sleep disturbance with or without nightmares
  • Loss – deaths; exposure to suicide; job; marriage, other partner relationships, other estrangements
  • Access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide that have a contagious influence
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with help-seeking behavior