personal and social stressors that LGBT individuals must contend with and their relative lack of social support.Childhood Sexual Abuse Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor for suicidal behavior and suicide, and victims of childhood sexual abuse are at increased risk for developing behavioral problems and serious psychiatric disorders such as borderline personality disorder, depression, PTSD, and substance use that predispose to suicide. Early onset, duration, severity, and the identity of the perpetrator appear to increase the risk for suicidal behavior and suicide.ElderlyThe rates for suicide are highest for middle age and older adults, and the increased suicide rate in the U.S. is especially pronounced in older adults. Older adults and the elderly also have comparatively more completed suicides, one completion for every four attempts, and a much lower ratio than that of the general population. There is also evidence that suggests thatsuicide in the elderly is underreported, and researchers have found that suicidal behavior in older adults is associated with many factors, including specific illnesses such as COPD and malignancies, pain and functional nursece4less.com nursece4less.com nursece4less.com nursece4less.com nursece4less.com28
disabilities.46,47Factors that increase the risk of suicide for the general population, such as isolation, psychiatric disorders, and substance use are relatively common in older and elderly adults and increase their risk, as well.But older and elderly adults react differently to some of these issues, and aging presents stressors that can increase the risk of suicide specific to this population. Cognitive changes are a common feature of aging, and these may be a factorin the high rates of suicide in older and elderly adults. For example, cognitiveimpairment and dementia, both relatively common in these populations, have been identified as risk factors for suicide. The early stage of dementia when awareness is less affected and a comorbid condition of depression appear to particularly increase the risk of suicide in older adults. In addition, psychiatric disorders such as depression are common in people who have cognitive impairment, dementia and depression, which is a suicide risk factor. Physical illnesses and functional disability in older and elderly adults have been strongly associated with an increased risk of suicide. AdolescentsSuicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescentsand for adolescents15–19 years of age it is the second leading cause of death. Adolescents are less likely to complete suicide, with the ratio of attempts to completed suicides estimated to be from 50:1 to 100:1, but as with other groups there isevidence that adolescent suicides are unreported therefore the risk and the total numbers may be higher. Adolescents are subject to many of the same risk factors for suicide as other defined groups and the general population.