Suicide premeditation is a critical factor to consider when assessing suicide risk. Understanding which individuals are more or less likely to plan their suicidal behavior can shed light on how suicidal thoughts turn into actions.
The present study used psychological autopsy data to identify factors associated with level of premeditation among 131 adults who died by suicide.
Logistic regression analyses indicated that suicide decedents with higher premeditation scores had higher odds of being diagnosed with a depressive disorder and choosing a violent suicide method, specifically a firearm. Individuals with lower premeditation scores had higher odds of being diagnosed with a polysubstance use disorder.
Suicide decedents exhibiting greater premeditation before their deaths were different in several ways from suicide decedents exhibiting less premeditation. A better understanding of suicide premeditation can ultimately aid in the development of improved risk assessments and targeted safety interventions for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.