Spanish researchers have conducted a study which presents the symptoms of suicide among depressed people. According to the study which was presented in Amsterdam, Netherlands at the 28th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in most suicide attempts people exhibit impulsivity, risky behavior and psychomotor agitation.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention suicide is the number ten leading cause of death in America. Men show higher suicide rates compared to women and white American men have higher suicide rates than Native Americans.
The research team led by psychiatrist Dr. Dina Popovic from the Clinical Research Institute of Biomedical Research in Spain and Barcelona Hospital Clinic analyzed 2.811 people who suffered from depression. They were all participants in the international Bridge-II-MIX study on depression and suicide. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) the research team established a psychiatrist for all the participants. DSM is the standard classification which mental health professionals use to classify mental disorders.
The scientists looked at the patient’s clinical presentations, their family history, past suicide attempts, and what treatments they had used both in the past and in the present. Besides this the researchers also took into account clinical and sociodemographic risks for developing bipolar disorder and psychiatric symptoms.
628 of the participants in the study had already attempted to commit suicide. The scientists discovered that suicide attempts were often preceded by depressive mixed states which were also associated with bipolarity.
Dr. Popovic explained that a depressive mixed state is when and individual is depressed but at the same time shows signs of excitation and even mania. According to the findings 40 percent of the depressed patients who tried to commit suicide exhibited depressive mixed state.
Some of the symptoms which might be a sign of suicide attempt include promiscuous behavior, reckless driving, wringing hands, pacing around a room, taking off clothes and putting them on and lack of consideration for consequences.
The researchers concluded:
In our opinion, assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications. Most of these symptoms will not be spontaneously referred by the patient, the clinician needs to inquire directly, and many clinicians may not be aware of the importance of looking at these symptoms before deciding to treat depressed patients.”
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