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What psychotic symptoms can contribute to suicide risk?

Presence of these psychotic symptoms may contribute to why a person may contemplate suicide:
  • Command Voices: Many people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and in some cases with depression, hear voices. These voices may be uncomfortable, demoralizing, threatening or commanding. By no means all people with a psychotic disorder suffer command voices and the majority of these do not act upon them. However, it is possible that someone can die by suicide as a result of acting on his/her voices. Voices are very real to people and are not like thoughts running through one's head, but rather like someone in the room telling you to do something. An example would be voices telling them that by jumping off a certain bridge they will save the world from destruction. These voices are very intrusive. However, they can usually be controlled by antipsychotic medications.
  • Thought and Cognition Difficulties: Many people have no insight into their psychosis and no idea that their cognition could be impaired. This lack of insight may be a protective factor against suicide. However, when psychotic symptoms abate and the person is not in an acute state, suicide may seem like an escape from a constantly muddled mind and the psychic pain that many people describe.

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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.