What causes suicidal feelings?

There are different reasons why someone might experience suicidal feelings. There may be an obvious cause, such as a particular event or problem. It may also be because of a combination of different factors. There may also be no obvious reason. Suicidal feelings may appear suddenly or develop gradually over time. Some factors that may contribute to someone feeling suicidal include:

  • Experiencing mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis
  • Long-term physical illness
  • Difficult life experiences, such as losing a job, the end of a relationship, bereavement, or trauma
  • Relationship problems with a partner, friends, or family
  • Experiencing prejudice, discrimination, and social exclusion from others for whatever reason, including because of someone’s sexuality, racial, cultural or religious background
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • A history of self-harm. Although self-harm is not about trying to take their life, people who self-harm are more likely to take their lives than people who do not, either intentionally or accidentally

Men are particularly vulnerable to suicide. The reason for this is uncertain, but it may be partly because men tend to be less open about their feelings and may be less likely to seek professional help.

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