The risk of youngsters attempting suicide is higher if a parent has been treated for mental illness or if a parent has attempted suicide.
This was revealed in a collaborative study constituting over 15,000 teenagers and young adults by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Copenhagen University in Denmark.
AdvertisementThe study says that the risk is much higher in teenagers than in young adults.
In Sweden, although the incidence of suicide has dropped over the recent years, the suicide attempts have increased especially by young adults. This trend is observed in other European countries as well.
Mental illness and suicidal tendencies in parents have long been considered as risk factors or triggers for the children to commit suicide.
The present study attempted to look for a link between people undergoing inpatient care for mental illness or suicide attempt or suicide, and their children committing or attempting suicide.
The study revealed that young people, especially teenagers, attempted suicide within about two years of their parents committing suicide. Young girls in particular were prone to attempt suicide if their mothers have committed the act or if they were admitted for the treatment of mental illness.
The suicidal tendency among both sexes in these events declined with age.
The study was carried out on a total of 15,193 teenagers and young adults who were born between 1973 and 1983 and who attempted to kill themselves between the ages of 15 and 31. They were compared with their peers belonging to the same area and sex, but who haven't attempted suicide.
The study concludes that young people, particularly teenagers need support during that period of time when any of their parents has been admitted for mental illness or has suicidal behaviors.
The result of this study has been published online in PLOS ONE.
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