Triggers for attempted suicide in Istanbul youth, with special reference to their socio-demographic background

Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Jun;22(2):95-100. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1376100. Epub 2017 Sep 12.


Objective: Suicidal behavior of young people is a topic of utmost importance because suicide is irreversible, and should be prevented. Knowing about the psychosocial background and the triggering events could help in preventing suicidal behavior. We therefore aimed at identifying psychosocial factors that may trigger suicidal behavior in youth.

Methods: We analyzed retrospectively the standardized records of 2232 youths aged ≤25 years, who were treated after a suicide attempt at emergency units of public hospitals in Istanbul, Turkey during a period of 1 year. We describe this population according to sex and socio-economic conditions, like educational, occupational, relationship status and link them with their reported reasons for suicide attempts.

Results: The majority of patients were female (81.6%, N = 1822 females, 18.4%, N = 410 males). Independent of their educational and occupational background, patients indicated most frequently intra-familial problems (females 45.8%, males 30.5%), intrapersonal problems (females 19.9%, males 18.5%), and relationship problems (females 11.3%, males 23.9%) as triggering reasons.

Conclusions: Because intra-familial problems were the most frequently reported triggers of suicide attempts, preventive measures should focus on handling intra-familial conflicts. As sex differences were observed for the second-most common trigger-reasons, prevention should also focus on differentially handling intrapersonal and relationship conflicts better.

Keywords: Suicide attempts; Turkey; socio-demographic characteristics; trigger; youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Family Conflict*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Young Adult