Approximately 150 years ago, a sociologist known by the name of Emile Durkheim wrote a book on suicide. That was just the spark that lighted up people’s interest in suicide, suicide rates and how, when and why they occur. A new study wanted to approach suicide in a rather different manner, “calculating” its risk among people who were or have been depressed in the past.
Around 3000 people with depression have been studied in this attempt, just above 2800 to be exact and 630 of these people had attempted suicide somewhere in their past. All of the participants were consulted by a psychiatrist while having used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The study was mostly centered on in-depth interviews, as one of the objectives was to find out what was different between people who had attempted suicide and those who did not.
The study revealed that depression is not enough to identify suicidal behavior. The patients actually need mixed episodes of depression and also risky behaviors for specialists to even begin an attempt to try and identify what is wrong. It was discovered that suicidal attempts needed to have depressive mixed state in order to surface and this mixed state was also the result of bipolarity.
Specialists declared that approximately 40% of the patients who attempted suicide had one of these mixed states occur before the attempt itself, so depression alone was not “the requirement” for suicidal behavior.
But this pre-suicide behavior is right in between depression and a stressful one. Some of the symptoms are reckless driving, for example, or pacing around the room. While there are other symptoms that are indeed worrying, such as taking your clothes off and putting them back on randomly, these can just be things that happen in a day after you came back from work and you feel like losing some steam.
After the study, specialists have advised caution regarding patients, who do not actively mention these symptoms to their doctors. Thus, they need to know the symptoms clearly and ask questions about them directly in order to find out whether they occur or not. It was concluded that people who do “exercise” these symptoms have “50 percent increased chance of attempting suicide” which can be very worrying.
However, the results seem a little vague, in our humble opinion. If these symptoms are indeed true, there is need for further investigation in order to confirm them. After all, suicides are not something we should make quick presumptions about.
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