What are characteristics of suicidal individuals?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Individuals who are suicidal have a number of characteristics, including the following:

  • A preoccupation with death

  • A sense of isolation and withdrawal

  • Few friends or family members

  • An emotional distance from others

  • Distraction and lack of humor - They often seem to be "in their own world" and lack a sense of humor (anhedonia)

  • Focus on the past - They dwell in past losses and defeats and anticipate no future; they voice the notion that others and the world would be better off without them.

  • Haunted and dominated by hopelessness and helplessness - They are without hope and therefore cannot foresee things ever improving; they also view themselves as helpless in 2 ways: (1) they cannot help themselves, and all their efforts to liberate themselves from the sea of depression in which they are drowning are to no avail; and (2) no one else can help them

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