A 16-year-old girl is brought to the emergency room after ingesting 20 acetaminophen tablets. She tells the physician that she tried to commit suicide because she was not admitted to an honors English class. The girl is the president of her grade in school and always tries to be perfect. The most important factor in whether this girl tries to kill herself again is
- that she has major depressive disorder
- that she tried to commit suicide once
- her need to be perfect
- that she is female
- the method of the suicide attempt
This girl shows a number of risk factors for depression and attempted suicide, including female sex and her excessive need to be perfect. However, the most important factor in whether she tries to kill herself again is that she tried to commit suicide once. Taking pills such as aspirin or acetaminophen is less lethal than other methods, but young people such as this teenager may not know this. Thus, this girl has made a serious suicide attempt.