Washington DC: A new study has claimed that patients who suffering from mixed depression are at a higher risk committing suicide.
Researchers evaluated 2811 patients suffering from depression, out of which, 628 had already attempted suicide. Each patient was interviewed by a psychiatrist as if it were a standard evaluation of a mentally-ill patient.
The study looked especially at the characteristics and behaviours of those who had attempted suicide, and compared these to depressed patients who had not attempted suicide. They found that certain patterns recur before suicide attempts.
Author Dina Popovic found that ‘depressive mixed states’ often preceded suicide attempts. A depressive mixed state was where a patient was depressed, but also has symptoms of ‘excitation’, or mania.
Popovic found this significantly more in patients who had previously attempted suicide, than those who had not.
All the patients who suffer from mixed depression are at much higher risk of suicide.
In the second study, they found that if a depressed patient presented symptoms such as risky behaviour, agitation (pacing around a room, wringing one’s hands, pulling off clothing and putting it back on and other similar actions), impulsivity (acting on a whim, displaying behaviour characterised by little or no forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences), then their risk of attempting suicide is at least 50 percent higher.
Popovic said that assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient was extremely important, and had immense therapeutical implications, and added that most of these symptoms would not be spontaneously referred by the patient, the clinician needs to inquire directly.