Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Does Chronic Illness Increase Risks for Suicide in Adolescents?

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Does Chronic Illness Increase Risks for Suicide in Adolescents?

Article excerpt

Nearly one-third of adolescents have one or more chronic illnesses and potential links to suicide are explored in this presentation. Precipitating factors for suicide include depression, loss of friends, social isolation, academic failure, substance abuse, and others. However, emerging research suggests that chronic illness is also a risk factor for depression that may eventually lead to suicide in adolescents or young adults if the underlying depression is not resolved. Such risks must be weighed against research data noting an overall increase in suicide attempts and overt suicide in each age cohort from early adolescence well into the adult years. Research also suggests that youth with chronic illness may not be carefully screened for depression and suicide as clinicians may focus on the specific disease but not the underlying psychological issues. Though more research is needed, current evidence suggests that adolescents and young adults with chronic illness should be regularly screened for depression as well as suicide. …

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