Suicide Risk in Women

This study investigated whether gender moderated the association between male socializing pressures of restrictive emotionality and suicide risk through suicidal capacity. A sample of hospitalized patients admitted with recent suicidality (n = 194) completed validated measures of restrictive emotionality, fearlessness in the face of death, and current suicide risk. A moderate mediating effect was found in opposition to the hypothetical direction: fearlessness about death mediated the relationship between approval of the male gender norm of restrictive emotionality and suicide risk in men. women, but not men. Sex did not moderate the association between restrictive emotionality and fearlessness in the face of death. The divergent gender effects suggest that the male norm of restrictive emotionality is associated with suicide capacity in both men and women, while acquired fearlessness about death is more informative of suicide risk in men and women. women than men.


Depression is a major risk factor for suicide attempts and other suicidal behaviors.

Suicide Risk in Women

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  • Depression affects women disproportionately: they are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression.
  • Women are more likely than men to have physical and mental health problems in addition to depression. 70% of antidepressant prescriptions are given to women in the United States.
  • Major depression is a psychiatric disorder that includes several symptoms.
  • The two main symptoms are:
  • Having a depressed mood includes feeling worthless, thinking about death, and being overwhelmed by sadness.
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.

Risk Factors

When “risk” factors are present, women are at a higher risk for considering suicide.

  • Partner violence can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is also a risk factor for suicide.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
  • Women experience partner violence 9 times more often than men.
  • Sexual abuse in childhood is a major factor for future suicidal behaviour and can also be a source of PTSD.
  • Self-harm, substance abuse and high-risk behaviours (like unprotected sex) are some unhealthy strategies that women may use to cope during times of abuse.
  • Unhealthy coping strategies ultimately undermine feelings of self-worth, cause depression and put women at greater risk for suicide (Joiner, et al., 2007).
  • 1 in 5 women are victims of rape (attempted or completed, in childhood or adulthood)
  • Body self-image issues can be caused by pressures to obtain unrealistic physical expectations.
  • Major surgery, such as a mastectomy, can cause body self-image issues to arise in women, and can precipitate depression.
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