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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Apr;932:169-86; discussion 186-7.

Recognizing and responding to a suicide crisis.

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 120 Wall Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10005, USA.


Data from therapists who were treating 26 patients when they committed suicide were utilized to identify signs that warned of a suicide crisis. Three factors were identified as markers of the suicide crisis: a precipitating event; one or more intense affective stats other than depression; and at least one of three behavioral patterns: speech or actions suggesting suicide, deterioration in social or occupational functioning, and increased substance abuse. Problems in communication between patient and therapist, often originating in therapeutic anxiety over the patient's possible suicide, were identified as factors interfering with crisis recognition. Evaluation of the identified affects and behaviors may help therapists recognize a suicide crisis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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