Thoughts of suicide can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'very serious' to 'life-threatening'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose thoughts of suicide, we could:
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Have you had suicide thoughts or attempts?
Possible responses:→ Never / it crosses my mind sometimes / don't know
→ I think about it often / I seriously considered it
→ I tried it over 5 years ago
→ I tried it within the past 5 years
→ Tried in past year / several times in past 5 years