Risk Factors for Suicide

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention cites the following as several risk factors for suicide:

  • Psychiatric Disorders – at least 90% of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness such as major depression, bipolar depression or some other depressive illness including alcohol or drug abuse, bulimia or anorexia.
  • History of Attempted Suicide – Between 20 and 50% of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made serious suicide attempts are at a much higher risk for actually taking their lives.
  • Genetic Predisposition – Family history of suicide, suicide attempts, depression or other psychiatric illness.
  • Demographics – Men are three to five times more likely to commit suicide than women. Elderly Caucasian males are among the highest suicide rates.