Suicide is a tragic and potentially preventable public health problem. In 2000, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. Specifically, 10.6 out of every 100,000 persons died by suicide. The total number of suicides was 29,350, or 1.2 percent of all deaths. Suicide deaths outnumber homicide deaths by five to three. It has been estimated that there may be from eight to 25 attempted suicides per every one suicide death. The alarming numbers of suicide deaths and attempts emphasize the need for carefully designed prevention efforts.
Suicidal behavior is complex. Some risk factors vary with age, gender and ethnic group and may even change over time. The risk factors for suicide frequently occur in combination. Research has shown that more than 90 percent of people who kill themselves have depression or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder, often in combination with other mental disorders. Also, research indicates that alterations in neurotransmitters such as serotonin are associated with the risk for suicide. Diminished levels of this brain chemical have been found in patients with depression, impulsive disorders, a history of violent suicide attempts, and also in postmortem brains of suicide victims.
Adverse life events in combination with other risk factors such as depression may lead to suicide. However, suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress. Many people have one or more risk factors and are not suicidal. Other risk factors include: prior suicide attempt; family history of mental disorder or substance abuse; family history of suicide; family violence, including physical or sexual abuse; firearms in the home; incarceration; and exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, including family members, peers, or even in the media.
CTA has psychologists and therapists across the New York metro area that can help you determine the most appropriate steps you should be taking based on the severity of your suicidal thoughts and tendencies. To inquire about an appointment , please call us at (212) 258-2577.
Keywords: suicide, suicidal tendencies, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, teen suicide, teenage suicide prevention, adolescent suicide.