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Can Med Assoc J. 1983 Jul 1;129(1):21-3, 27.

Self-harm: 1. Suicide.


Although suicide rates have remained relatively stable, the risk of suicide has increased among 25- to 35-year-old men. Attempts to understand suicide fall into three major frameworks: sociologic theories, psychologic theories and the relation of suicide to psychiatric illness. The risk of suicide can be assessed by means of a relatively simple clinical interview. Since most suicide victims consult their family doctors within the month before their death, physicians are in a unique position to prevent suicide. Routine assessment of the risk of suicide among patients who appear depressed or are undergoing an emotional crisis can lead to accurate diagnosis and effective intervention. Similarly, the appropriate use of psychotropic medication can lead to effective treatment while minimizing the risk of a lethal overdose.

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