Suicidal ideation

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Suicidal ideation
Classification and external resources
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Suicidal ideation
Classification and external resources

Suicidal ideation is a common medical term for thoughts about suicide, which may be as detailed as a formulated plan, without the suicidal act itself. Although most people who undergo suicidal ideation do not commit suicide, a significant proportion go on to make suicide attempts.[1] The range of suicidal ideation varies greatly from fleeting to detailed planning, role playing, self-harm and unsuccessful attempts, which may be deliberately constructed to fail or be discovered, or may be fully intended to succeed.

In a 1-year study conducted in Finland, close to half of the victims saw a health care professional prior to committing suicide (41%), most seeing a psychiatrist. Of those, only 22% of the victims discussed suicidal intent on their last office visit. In most of the cases, the office visit took place within a week of the suicide, and most of the victims had a diagnosed depressive disorder. [2]


Risk factors

Psychiatric disorders

Life events


Prescription drug side effects

Relationships with parents and friends

According to a study conducted by Ruth X. Liu of San Diego State University, a significant connection was found between the parent–child relationships of adolescents ranging from early, middle and late adolescence and their likelihood of suicidal ideation. The study consisted of measuring relationships between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters. The relationships between fathers and sons during early and middle adolescence shows an inverse relationship to suicidal ideation. Closeness with the father in late adolescence is "significantly related to suicidal ideation".[5] Liu goes on to explain the relationship found between closeness with the opposite sex parent and the child's risk of suicidal thoughts. It was found that boys are better protected from suicidal ideation if they are close to their mothers through early and late adolescence; whereas girls are better protected by having a close relationship with their father during middle adolescence.

An article published in 2010 by Zappulla and Pace found that suicidal ideation in adolescent boys is exacerbated by detachment from the parents when depression is already present in the child. Lifetime prevalence estimates of suicidal ideation among nonclinical populations of adolescents generally range from 60% and in many cases its severity increases the risk of completed suicide.[6]

Warning signs of suicidal ideation

Early detection

A study conducted by researchers in Australia set out to determine a course of early detection for suicidal ideation in teens stating that "risks associated with suicidality require an immediate focus on diminishing self-harming cognitions so as to ensure safety before attending to the underlying etiology of the behavior". A Psychological Distress scale known as the K10 was administered monthly to a random sample of individuals. According to the results among the 9.9% of individuals who reported "psychological distress (all categories)" 5.1% of the same participants reported suicidal ideation. Participants who scored "very high" on the Psychological Distress scale "were 77 times more likely to report suicidal ideation than those in the low category".[7]

Scales used to measure suicidal ideation

See also


  1. ^ Gliatto, Michael F.; Rai, Anil K. (March 1999). "Evaluation and Treatment of Patients with Suicidal Ideation". American Family Physician 59 (6). PMID 10193592. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  2. ^ Halgin, Richard P.; Susan Whitbourne (2006). Abnormal psychology : clinical perspectives on psychological disorders. Boston : McGraw-Hill. pp. 267–272. ISBN 0-07-322872-9.
  3. ^ "Cyberbullying Research Summary - Cyberbullying and Suicide". Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  4. ^ "The relationship between bullying, depression and suicidal thoughts/behaviour in Irish adolescents". Department of Health and Children. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  5. ^ Liu, Ruth X. (December 2005). "Parent-Youth Closeness and Youth's Suicidal Ideation; The Moderating Effects of Gender, Stages of Adolescence, and Race or Ethnicity". Youth & Society 37 (2): 160-162.
  6. ^ Zappulla, Carla. "Relations between suicidal ideation, depression, and emotional autonomy from parents in adolescence". Springer Science + Business Media LLC. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  7. ^ Chamberlain, Peter; Goldney, R., Delfabbro, P., Gill, T., Dal Grande, L. (2009). "Suicidal Ideation: The Clinical Utility of the K10". Crisis. 1 30: 39-42. doi:10.1027/0221-5910.30.1.39.

Further reading

External links