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How often do people with schizophrenia commit suicide?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Mental illness is a risk factor for suicide, and the suicide rate among people with schizophrenia is quite high. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 10 people with schizophrenia take their own lives. The NIMH reports that the suicide rate in the general population is only 1 in 10,000. However, about 10 times as many people attempt to take their own lives (1 in 1,000), but do not actually die. As with the general population, people with schizophrenia that are most at risk for suicide are young adult males. One medication, clozapine, has been shown to reduce suicide risk in people with schizophrenia. However, clozapine also has potentially serious side effects and must be monitored closely.
Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
According to research, about 10% of people with schizophrenia commit suicide. People with paranoid schizophrenia are more likely to commit suicide than those suffering from other types. The suicide rate contributes to the reason why schizophrenia is said to shorten lifespans. Talk to your doctor about any thoughts of suicide.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Suicide is the number one cause of premature death in people with schizophrenia. About 1 in 10 people (especially young men) with schizophrenia commit suicide. This is far more often than the national average, which is closer to 1 in 10,000. If schizophrenia affects someone you know, and they are talking about hurting themselves, call 911 immediately. Or the suicide prevention line (get the number of the 800 line from Google).

Suicide and thinking about suicide are two dangerous complications of schizophrenia. Around 10 out of every 100 people who have schizophrenia commit suicide. People who do not take their antipsychotic medications are more likely to develop complications of the disorder, such as committing suicide. To prevent complications like suicidal tendencies, make sure that you or your loved one with schizophrenia follows doctor's orders about medication and therapy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.