Suicidal Thoughts, Suicide Attempts

What Causes Thoughts Of Suicide?

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.

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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:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "thoughts of suicide" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need
  • Depression

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
chest pain when breathing
having trouble concentrating
major mood swings
depression in family members
black/tarry stools
significant epigastric pain
very angry/hostile disposition
being very skinny
severe left hypochondriac pain
severe periumbilical pain
discontinued antidepressant drug use
regular sleep paralysis
... and more than 20 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of thoughts of suicide:
Cause Probability Status
Depression 93% Confirm
Possible Urgent Medical Need 69% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Emotional Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts:
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
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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