disaster strikes, like 9/11, perhaps because people support each other
when trauma strikes and attention is directed outside ourselves.
13. A commonly cited statistic is that a suicide causes six loved
ones to suffer intense grief. More recent research suggests that more
like 20-25 people are affected by a suicide and they often need help
(Preventing Suicide, October, 2003). They feel guilt, shame, lack of
support, and rejection by others. See the later section on treatment as
14. Children of attempters are six times more likely to attempt
suicide than children of nonattempters, especially if the mother had a
mood disorder and was sexually abused, and also if the offspring is a
female who has had a mood disorder, drug abuse, impulsiveness,
anger, and/or sexual abuse (Brent, et al, 2002).
15. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2001)
estimates that 90% (others say 30-50%) of suicide victims have
significant mental illness, often major depression with such symptoms
as insomnia, fatigue, poor appetite, poor concentration, impulsivity,
anger, high risk-taking, or addictions. About one in five depressed
patients attempt suicide.
16. Anorexia Nervosa and Binge-Purge subtypes have reportedly
been found by some researchers to be over 50 times more likely to
attempt suicide than similar women without an eating disorder (Dr.
Debra L. Franko, Northwestern University, Bouve College of Health
Sciences). Also, binge drinking is associated with a higher risk of
suicide, according to Dr. Michael Windle (firstname.lastname@example.org) in
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (May, 2004). Perhaps
this isnt surprising since some people try to use alcohol to cope with
17. Three studies have found that women who have had cosmetic
breast implants are three times more likely to attempt suicide than
similar women who have not had an implant (Dr. Joseph K.
McLaughlin, Annals of Plastic Surgery). The reason is unknown but
some speculation focuses on the personality makeup of women who
18. People who have once attempted suicide may remain a
somewhat higher risk for the rest of their lives (Dr. Gary Jenkins [Nov.
16, 2002], British Medical Journal). Also, a Helsinki group of physicians
came to a similar conclusion after following 100 parasuicides (self-
poisoning) for 37 years (Suominen, et al, 2004). This is in line with
believing that previous attempts are a sign of high risk but it seems to
contradict the Sieden (1978) study cited above in a powerful
argument against suicide. The risk declines with time.
19. Among 15-year-olds who have attempted suicide at that age,
more than twice as many of them (compared to non-suicidal 15-year-