The statistics for suicide are frightening. According to the WHO, more than 800,000 people commit suicide every year, with perhaps 20 times that number attempting suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the young (in the UK for example, it is the leading cause of death in men under 35). Effective measures of suicide prevention are urgently needed.
The BRIDGE-II-MIX study is a major international study looking at depression and suicide. According to author Dr. Dina Popovic (Barcelona): “We found that ‘depressive mixed states’ often preceded suicide attempts. A depressive mixed state is where a patient is depressed, but also has symptoms of ‘excitation’, or mania.” In a second analysis of the figures, they found that if a depressed patient presents any of the following symptoms:
• risky behaviour (e.g. reckless driving, promiscuous behaviour)
• psychomotor 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 characterized by little or no forethought,reflection, or consideration of the consequences), ￼￼ then their risk of attempting suicide is at least 50% higher.
Dr Popovic continued: “In our opinion, assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications.” –European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), August 30, 2015