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Warning Signs of Suicide in Adults


Topic Overview

The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide:

Factors that may increase the risk of suicide include having:

  • A family member who has committed suicide.
  • A family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Diagnosis of a serious medical illness.
  • Failing relationships.
  • A divorce.
  • A recent life change, such as a death of a spouse or other member of the family, marriage, break-up of a marriage, the birth of a child, a job loss, a job promotion or demotion, or legal problems.

FDA Advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when doses are changed.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedNovember 29, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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