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What are the possible consequences of a suicide attempt?

After a suicide attempt, family caregivers and the person who acted will likely face a myriad of consequences and feelings:
  • Serious injury: Serious injury can occur from a suicide attempt. People have been known, not only to break bones, but to suffer serious injuries to their brain or other organs or become paralyzed. Fear of this happening has made some people think twice about the attempt.
  • After the injury, family and friends are often involved in the physical care of the person: visits to the hospital, consultation with doctors, etc. If and when recovery occurs, the family and the person may return to the same set of circumstances that were in place before the suicide attempt took place. In addition they will all have the added guilt and shame that come from the event.
  • In the countries where suicide is still seen as a crime, persons may even be charged by the police though this is less and less likely to happen as a more enlightened approach to mental health and suicide comes about. Sometimes families prefer to pass the attempt off as an accident to avoid police action.
  • Stigmatizing and avoidance by friends and by society: Immediately after the event, close friends will gather around you to do what they can to assuage your distress and that of your relative getting over their suicide attempt. However, according to family experience, this does not last past one or two months; by that time it may seem that many expect you to have overcome your difficulties and to have resumed a relatively normal life. This will also happen to families who have experienced a death by suicide. People do not seem to have the perseverance necessary to help grieving and stressed families for long. The same may apply to someone taking time off work. A few days may be given graciously but after that one's employer may not believe that you should need any more time off.
  • Potential of sensational media coverage: It is a fact that in many countries newspapers and other media cover suicides in a sensational manner. In some countries, the press has been made aware, often through anti-stigma campaigns, that such reporting may trigger other suicides. In those places suicides are more modestly reported and sometimes not reported at all.

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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.