The suicidal process in suicides among young people

B S Runeson, J Beskow, M Waern
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 1996, 93 (1): 35-42
Fifty-eight consecutive suicides among 15- to 29-year-olds (42 men and 16 women) were investigated by modified psychological autopsies and examined from the perspective of the suicidal process. Previous suicide attempts were evident in 66% and more than two suicide attempts found in 17% of men and in 56% of women. The median interval from first suicidal communication to the suicide was shorter in men than in women (12 vs 42 months). The median interval was 47 months in schizophrenia, 30 months in borderline personality disorder, 3 months in major depression and < 1 month in adjustment disorder. There were also differences in the prevalence of next-of kin models for suicidal behavior, previous suicidal communication and in the characteristics of the suicide. We conclude that focusing on the process heightens understanding of serious suicidal behavior in young people.

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