When is assessment for suicidal ideation indicated in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with depression should be assessed for suicidal ideation, especially if agitation is present. When a patient has contemplated or attempted suicide, the burden is on the health care provider to directly explore the situation with the patient in as much detail as possible to determine the current presence of suicidal ideation as well as accessible means and plans. Discussing these is the most important step clinicians can take in an attempt to prevent suicide in an at-risk patient. For more information, see the Medscape Reference article Suicide.


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