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Neuropsychobiology. 1980;6(6):319-32.

Suicide in the Lundby study: a controlled prospective investigation of stressful life events.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role played by stressful life events in completed suicide and to find out to what extent similar experiences occur at corresponding periods of life among persons, who do not commit suicide. The suicide group was drawn from a prospective psychiatric cohort study of 3,563 persons, followed during 25 years (The Lundby Study). The suicide persons had all been examined by psychiatrists on one or two occasions at a 'normal' period of their lives. Two control groups from the same population were used: one age- and sex-matched normal group, one sex-matched group of deceased persons, who had died of nonviolent causes at the same ages as the corresponding suicide persons. Acute psychiatric illness was the most prominent factor immediately preceding the suicide. 26 out of the total of 28 suicide persons were considered psychiatrically ill at time of suicide. More suicide persons that controls had experienced undesirable events such as: blow to the self-esteem; object loss; problems at work; sickness reporting, and moving of house. The findings suggest that persons, who finally commit suicide have received more than their due share of the hardships of life. Medical prophylactic measures such as crises intervention and awareness of the diagnosis of depression are discussed.

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