My boyfriend attempted suicide two months ago. What is the risk for further attempts?
It's a hard thing to accept, but repetition of suicidal
attempts is fairly common, occurring in approximately 15% of individuals
during the first year following an attempt (the risk being higher during
the first three months). Approximately 1% will kill themselves during the first year and about 3% during the 5 years following an attempt.
There are certain characteristics that have been found in those who are
more likely to repeat an attempted suicide.
These characteristics include: age of 45 or more; the fact of being male; a previous attempt which resulted in hospital admission; problems with drugs or alcohol; suffering from a personality disorder; living alone (especially if separated, divorced, or widowed); previous history of psychiatric treatment, criminal record, unemployment and lower social
In spite of this relatively high repetition rate risk, many patients
experience considerable improvement in their social and psychological
difficulties soon after their attempts, although it is often unclear
whether this is the result of treatment, natural resolution of the crisis or the effect of the attempt itself (in terms of getting the attention needed from other people).