The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suicide among schizophrenics: a comparison of attempters and completed suicides.
R E Drake, C Gates, P G Cotton


Schizophrenics who completed suicide were compared with those who made suicide attempts, on the basis of blind ratings of previous hospital records and follow-up interviews with treating clinicians. Results indicated that the two groups were relatively distinct. Suicides tended to live alone and to feel depressed, hopeless, worthless, and suicidal. Attempters, on the other hand, lived with their families or others and were less likely to manifest several features of depression during a period in hospital. In evaluating suicide potential among schizophrenics, living situation and mental state changes indicating depression, suicidal intent, worthlessness, and hopelessness are more important than a history of suicidal behaviour.