Richard G. Petty, MD

Helping to Prevent Suicide

Unless you work in psychology or psychiatry, you may not know that in the United States, there are considerably more suicides each year than there are murders.

Though there is sometimes little warning that someone might be about to harm themselves, in the majority there have been some warning signs.

The American Association of Suicidology expert consensus panel has just published a mnemonic to help professionals and the general public recognize some of the major risk factors. You can find a brief article with a link here.

Here is the whole mnemonic:
I    Ideation
S    Substance abuse

P    Purposelessness

A    Anxiety
T    Trapped
H    Hopelessness

W    Withdrawal
A    Anger
R    Recklessness
M    Mood changes

This is only a first attempt at an evidence-based summary of some of the major risk factors, and the sensitivty and specificity of the list is still quite low. But If awareness of some of these warning signs and risk factors saves even a single life, this post will have been worthwhile.

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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