Suicide note

A suicide note or death note is a message left behind when a person dies by suicide, or intends to die by suicide.

It is estimated that 25–30% of suicides are accompanied by a note. However, incidence rates may depend on ethnicity and cultural differences, and may reach rates as high as 50% in certain demographics.[1] A suicide message can be in any form or medium, but the most common methods are by a written note, an audio message, or a video.


Some fields of study, such as sociology, psychiatry and graphology, have investigated the reasons why people who complete, or attempt, suicide leave a note.

According to Lenora Olsen, a professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, the most common reasons that people contemplating suicide choose to write a suicide note include one or more of the following:[2]

  • To ease the pain of those known to the victim by attempting to dissipate guilt.
  • To increase the pain of survivors by attempting to create guilt.
  • To set out the reason(s) for suicide.
  • To express thoughts and feelings that the person felt unable to express in life.
  • To give instructions for disposal of the remains.
  • Occasionally, to confess acts of murder or some other offence.[3][4][5]

Sometimes there is also a message in the case of murder–suicide, explaining the reason(s) for the murder(s), see for example, Marc Lépine's suicide statement and videotaped statements of the 7 July 2005 London bombers.

Other Languages
العربية: رسالة انتحار
한국어: 유서
हिन्दी: सुसाइड नोट
Nederlands: Zelfmoordbrief
日本語: 遺書
português: Nota de suicídio
Tiếng Việt: Di thư
粵語: 遺書
中文: 遺書