Depression is a very serious condition that, if left untreated, can become incredibly harmful to the person’s health and can even lead to suicide. Given the high rates of suicidal in our society nowadays, it is important to have a good management of our emotions and steer clear of certain signs that might tell us something is wrong.
Among risky behaviors of suicide experts have listed sudden promiscuity, being impulsive when engaging in certain actions, reckless driving and nervous behaviors. Even a person who is usually agitated or constantly paces is more likely to commit suicide. A new report said that people who have such symptoms are almost 50 percent more at risk.
“Assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications,” said lead study author Dr. Dina Popovic, who works at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain.
Other experts, such as Dr. Donald Malone, who is the chair of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleeveland Clinic agrees with these findings. He explained that patients who are more inclined to commit suicide usually exhibit various behavior patterns such as anxiety or a state of agitation. “These symptoms can also be a clue that the underlying diagnosis is bipolar depression (manic depressive disorder),” he said.
The team of researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona analyzed more than 2,800 people who suffered from depression. Out of these, almost 630 had tried to commit suicide. These patients were asked various questions in order to allow the experts to find certain patterns of behavior that could help them determine what the particular signs that led to suicide were.
It was found that about 40 percent of the people who had tried to kill themselves had had a mixed state episode, where he or she would both feel depressed and display symptoms of mania or excitation. Thus, it was concluded that the people who exhibit such episodes are more likely to commit suicide.
This criteria was reported to be much more efficient compared to the standard one, which only identified 12 percent of the people who were suffering from mixed depression. Popovic concluded that the standard methods are not very efficient in spotting patients who are at risk of suicide.
Dr. Malone also explained that bipolar people are usually at a much higher risk of committing suicide compared to patients suffering from non-bipolar depression. The two conditions are so different that the treatment used for the latter can actually worsen the condition of bipolar patients. This is why it is of utmost importance to correctly identify the situation in order to recommend treatment.
Health professionals point out that it is important for psychologists to look at other factors as well, such as history of previous attempts, a very big change or loss and hopelessness.
Even if the study has not yet been published in a journal that is peer-reviewed, it is an important study that provides useful information to experts all over the world.
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