Which factors may increase the risk for suicidal behaviors in bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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The European Mania in Bipolar Longitudinal Evaluation of Medication (EMBLEM) study, a 2-year prospective, observational study, suggested the following characteristics found in patients with bipolar disorder who are suicidal may help identify subjects at risk for suicidal behavior [115] :

  • Female sex

  • A history of alcohol abuse

  • A history of substance abuse

  • Young age at first treatment for a mood episode

  • Longer disease duration

  • Greater depressive symptom severity (5-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HAMD-5] total score)

  • Current benzodiazepine use

  • Higher overall symptom severity (Clinical Global Impression-Bipolar Disorder [CGI-BP]: mania and overall score)

  • Poor compliance

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