Suicide after Suicide Attempt in Severe Depression: A Long-Term Follow-Up


  • Louise Brådvik MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Neuroscience in the Division of Psychiatry at Lund University Hospital in Lund, Sweden.
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  • This study was supported by grants from Swedish Medical Council, the Sjöbring Fund, the OM Persson Memorial Fund, and the Söderström-Königska Foundation. Arne Frank prepared the case records in the second follow-up.

Address correspondence to: Louise Brådvik, MD, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Lund University Hospital, S-221 85 Lund, Sweden; E-mail:


The temporal relation between completed suicide and first-ever suicide attempt was investigated in 58 future suicides with a primary severe depression/melancholia. The median survival after a first attempted suicide was 6.7 years. Male patients with initial ratings of psychomotor retardation lived significantly longer after their initial attempt than those who were not retarded. They also had more depressive episodes compared to other male suicides and retarded controls. Thus a slow suicidal process in the men with a severe depression and psychomotor retardation is proposed. Severity, repetition, and method of suicide attempt did not decrease the survival time.