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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;20(1):17-22.

Suicide risk in mood disorders.

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  • 1National Institute for Psychiatry and Neurology and Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest, Hungary.



The aim of this review is to highlight the traditional and newly recognized suicide risk factors in patients with mood disorders.


Current research findings clearly suggest that suicidal behaviour in patients with mood disorder is a 'state-dependent' phenomenon. Recently, there is, however, a growing body of evidence that besides the well accepted clinically explorable suicide risk factors in mood disorders (e.g., severe depression, prior suicide attempt, comorbid anxiety, substance use, personality disorders and so on), mixed state of depression could also be an important precursor of suicidal behaviour. This might be particularly true in unrecognized cases of bipolar depressives, when antidepressant monotherapy (unprotected by mood stabilizers or atypical antipsychotics) can worsen the clinical picture and rarely induce an aggressive or self-destructive behaviour.


In the majority of patients with mood disorders, suicidal behaviour is predictable and preventable, with a good chance. A careful and systematic exploration of suicide risk factors in patients with mood disorder helps clinicians to identify patients at high suicide risk. A successful, acute and long-term treatment of these patients substantially reduces the suicidal behaviour even in this high-risk population.

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