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Suicides among people with schizophrenia are commonly believed to be impulsive and to occur unexpectedly.
As part of the National Suicide Prevention Project in Finland, a nationwide psychological autopsy study, suicide victims with DSM-III-R schizophrenia (n=86; n=64 in the active illness phase) and others (n=1 109; n=666 without any evidence for psychosis) were compared for communication of suicidal intent (CSI), as well as previous suicide attempts known by the next of kin and/or an attending health care professional during the latest treatment relationship.
More victims with schizophrenia (84%) had a history of previous CSI, and/or had made previous suicide attempt(s) than others (70%). Also, victims with active illness schizophrenia (56%) had more CSI and/or had made suicide attempts during their last three months than victims with no psychosis (41%).
CSI and/or suicide attempts occur at least as often in people with schizophrenia as in those without schizophrenia, even in the active phase of the illness.
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