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What Increases Your Risk of Suicide


What Increases Your Risk of Suicide?

You may be more likely to have suicidal thoughts if you have any of the following conditions, lifestyle choices, or diseases or take any of the following medicines. Be sure to tell your health professional.

Conditions

  • Age older than 60
  • A new medical problem or illness
  • Sexual identity or sexual orientation
  • Disfigurement following an accident or disease
  • Divorce or death of a partner
  • Death of a parent at an early age
  • Family history of depression, suicide, or mental illness
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • History of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of family or social support
  • Loss of mobility, especially when physical activity is important to an occupation
  • A head or spinal cord injury
  • Male gender
  • Recent stressful life event or anniversary of the event, such as a death in the family, marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, a job loss, or a job promotion or demotion
  • White race

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Access to firearms

Medicines

Some medicines can cause depression, which increases the risk of suicidal thoughts. These medicines include:

  • Antidepressant medicines. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants with you.
  • Antihypertensive medicines, such as reserpine (Serpasil) or beta-blockers (such as propranolol).
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone.
  • Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy).

Diseases

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedNovember 27, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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