Leo Sher, M.D.
My article, “Suicide in individuals with no psychiatric disorders-what makes you vulnerable?” was published in the QJM: An International Journal of Medicine online ahead of print on December 9, 2023 (1). A summary of my article is below:
Globally, hundreds of thousands of people die by suicide every year. Suicides are usually associated with psychiatric illness. However, considerable evidence suggests that a significant number of individuals who die by suicide do not have diagnosable psychiatric disorders. The goal of this article is to attract attention to an overlooked issue of suicide in persons with no psychiatric disorders and to discuss some aspects of this issue. Research on identification and prevention of suicidal behavior in people with no psychiatric disorders is very limited. The available data indicates that suicides in individuals without psychiatric disorders are related to life stressors, lack of social support, and certain personality traits such as impulsivity. Suicide risk may be increased in military veterans with no psychiatric disorders. Many physical disorders, especially conditions associated with pain increase suicide risk in individuals with no diagnosable psychiatric disorders. Developmental, genetic, and physical factors may play a role in the psychobiology of suicide in people with no psychiatric conditions. Promoting resilience may reduce suicide risk in the general population. Clinicians who work with medical or surgical patients need to have sufficient training in suicide prevention. Possibly, shifting some suicide prevention resources from individuals who are regarded as high-risk suicide patients to the general population may reduce suicide rates. Public education and better awareness about suicide may reduce suicide deaths among people with no psychiatric disorders.
- Sher L. Suicide in individuals with no psychiatric disorders-what makes you vulnerable? QJM. 2023 Dec 9:hcad279. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcad279. Epub ahead of print.