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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:

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  • 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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.

Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening to commit suicide, get help right away. To learn more, see Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 17, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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