Which physical findings during a mental status review suggest increased suicide risk?

Updated: Jul 26, 2021
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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In addition to noting the dress and hygiene of patients who are depressed (eg, disheveled, unkempt and unclean clothing), the clinician should assess these individuals for other signs of suicide risk. First, look for physical evidence of suicidal behavior. This includes wrist lacerations and neck rope burns. Be aware that more than 1 sign can indicate suicidal behavior. In one example, a woman who was brought to an emergency department because she had cut her left wrist was found, on physical examination, to have 5 vertical lacerations on her abdomen.

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