Monday, May 6, 2013


 Suicide is a deliberate act of self-harm leading to death of the person. Rate of suicide is about 12.5/100000 persons and ranked as eighth leading cause of death in world.

Some facts about risk of suicide

    1.      Men commit suicide more than women who attempt more.
    2.      Suicide rate increases with age
    3.      Caucasians are more prone to suicide than other races
    4.      Atheist are more prone to commit suicide than religious believers
    5.      Married people are less prone to suicide
    6.       Employed persons are at a lesser risk
    7.      People with physical illness are more prone to attempt suicide
    8.      Psychiatric illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and people with personality disorders are more prone to suicide.
    9.      Previous attempt to suicide is the strongest predictor of further attempts
Para suicide- it is acts of self-mutilation without intent to die.
Deliberate self-harm- the act of self-mutilation with/without intent to die.

Prevention of suicide

Although prediction of suicide is not always possible but if certain points are taken into consideration, the chances of a person committing the act are greatly reduced.
   1.      Never take a person’s expressed wish to die non-seriously even if expressed in anger.
   2.      A person who repeatedly threatens suicide but does not commit suicide is at higher risk to commit suicide.
   3.      It has been seen that a person who has committed suicide has had given some sort of forewarning.
   4.      Always keep a vigil on people with chronic illnesses and psychiatric illnesses.
   5.      Once a person has attempted suicide but could not succeed, extra care should be taken.
Rules to be followed when a person expresses suicidal idea or has attempted suicide
Contact a psychiatrist to assess the person’s suicidal risk by scales.
If the person has been identified with a psychiatric illness it should be treated promptly.
Keep an eye on the person and keep dangerous things out of his reach.
There may be a need for hospitalization
Do not criticize a person for the act but extent full family support for the speedy recovery and moral support so that the person does not repeat the act.
Depressed patients coming out of depression are at particularly high risk of suicide called paradoxical suicide and should be under supervision until complete recovery.

Surviving suicide
A family member of a suicide victim is called surviving suicide. They are also at risk and should be taken care off because of the grief that they could not prevent it.
Suicides can be reduced if the community becomes aware of its prevention.
Wishing you a long and healthy life ahead
Dr Hitesh Sharma
MBBS MD Psychiatry

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