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Are People Living With Schizophrenia More Likely to Commit Suicide?

A person on a chat group said he read an article that said people living with schizophrenia are more likely to commit suicide within five years of their diagnosis.

I cannot find the article, however, I did find a book called 50 Signs of Mental Illness by James Whitney Hicks, M.D., that said, "Approximately one out of every ten patients with schizophrenia commit suicide, usually during the first ten years of illness". Hicks gives some reasons why people with schizophrenia commit suicide: 'the person is experiencing psychosis and believe that the world is against them, or they are confused by their symptoms'. Another explanation is that 'they are disturbed by their diagnosis'. There is hope, Hicks recommends a drug called clozapine to reduce the risk of suicide. In general, people with schizophrenia should take medication reduce to the risk of suicide.

Here are some tips if you think someone is suicidal (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)):
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Encourage the person to get immediate help or call 911
  • Make sure that the individual does not have access to firearms, medication, or other potential tools for suicide

Or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for guidance and support.

What do you think?


Anonymous said…
That's interesting information. If a person with this mental illness takes their medicine, are they still psychosis? If so, I guess it would be very important for anyone in recovering or receiving treatment to make sure their medicine does what it is supposed to do. I might also be important to develop a friend or person that you can trust that can help you stay on track. That person should be able to tell you if you need to re-analysis your medicine. I am understanding that oftentimes changes or adjustments need to be made to it. It can have a grave side affect if its not working for you, right? Thanks for the info.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this Blog! I was diagnosed or misdiagnosed as manic depressive back in 1983. After a manic episode back in 1999 that required hospitalization, I have altered my personal life drastically. Two very close friends are schizophrenic. Both have dealt with their illness through on-going therapy and medication. Neither have attempted suicide and for that I am grateful. Personally, I think manic depressives are far more likely to attempt suicide.
Mystery Woman said…
I wont go into details but I've been on all kinds of medications and although I do relapse from time to time I am getting better.
At one point although I was experiencing manic depression the doctor still had me on medication for schizophrenic. I do think if a certain med is working it should be re-evaluated and changed based on the individual. By the way I wanted to commit suicide most times but never actually acted upon it. I was more into self mutilation. I am better.

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