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Assessing Suicide Risk in Psychosis 

Assessing Suicide Risk in Psychosis
Assessing Suicide Risk in Psychosis

Katherine Maloy

and Yona Heettner Silverman

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date: 11 December 2019

Assessing the risk of suicide in patients with psychosis can be complicated. Patients may be disorganized, underreport symptoms, or not appear depressed. Families may underreport symptoms due to stigma or denial. Use of substances can aggravate psychotic symptoms, worsen mood symptoms, and increase impulsivity while lowering inhibition. This chapter discusses a systematic approach to assessing risk of suicide in patients with psychosis, discusses risk factors and protective factors, and explores interview techniques for gaining rapport and eliciting information in complex patients. These concepts are illustrated through discussion of a case of a young man with new onset of psychotic symptoms who made several suicide attempts that were not reported by his family.

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