Suicide-Risk Behavior Pattern Revealed In The Findings Of New Depression Study

A link between suicide and risk behaviors has been revealed in a new study. The findings of the study were shared in a presentation at the 28th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress on Saturday, according to Medical News Today.

Doctors are hoping the findings of this new study can help them diagnose and prevent suicides in people that suffer from depression.

It has long been believed that depression and suicide are linked, but this study of more than 2,800 people interviewed as "a part of the Bridge-II-MIX study" revealed more about the potential causes of suicide in individuals. During the course of the study, it was discovered that more than 600 participants had already attempted suicide at some point in their lives.

Dr. Dina Popovic, the author of the study, spoke about the new information in a press release, according to iSchoolGuide.

"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. We found this significantly more in patients who had previously attempted suicide, than those who had not. In fact, 40 percent of all the depressed patients who had attempted suicide had a 'mixed episode' rather than just depression."
This means that depression when combined with these risky or nervous behaviors can lead to a person committing suicide. The risk is 50% higher in patients with two or more of the conditions present. Medical News Today revealed the exact risk behaviors.
"Risky behavior (for example, reckless driving, promiscuous behavior), psychomotor agitation (pacing around a room, wringing one's hands, pulling off clothing and putting it back on and other similar actions) and impulsivity (acting on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or no forethought, reflection or consideration of the consequences)."
Scientists and doctors are hoping that the knowledge of this new link can help in diagnosing and treatment of depression sufferers. The hope is to prevent suicide deaths in the future.

This new study has been released just weeks before Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. The Army also has marked September as Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is prevalent in service men and women returning from combat overseas.

According to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, Darryl Myers, suicide prevention program manager for the Army Substance Abuse Program at Fort Leavenworth, spoke about importance of suicide prevention.

"All of our leaders need to be responsible from a strategic level all the way down to civilian. [Gen. Daniel Allyn is] emphasizing to take charge and action to mitigate these high risk behaviors. He wants people to intervene and take action."
It is important to watch for the signs. The new study shared the importance of caregivers watching for the signs in those they care for. The person suffering from depression might not realize they are at a higher risk for suicide when they perform these risky behaviors.

Dr. Donald Malone, chair of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleveland Clinic, spoke about the importance of this study, according to He said that, "This study appropriately cautions caregivers to pay particular attention to suicide risk when treating patients with mixed states."

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death of people. It is also the third leading cause of death for adolescents, according to Get Psych'd with Dr. T.

It is also reported that more men commit suicide than women. Men are four times more likely to end their lives.

The death of Robin Williams in 2014 put more of spotlight on suicide and the need for suicide prevention. At the time of his death, many did not know the actor's private struggle with depression. His suicide shocked his fans.

If you know someone who is suicidal, you can help. Listen to the person. It is important to take them seriously. It is also necessary to call for professional help.

If you are thinking of ending your life, ask for help. Reach out to a friend or family member. If you feel that you cannot talk to someone you know, call the suicide hotline in your area.

Doctors and scientists are always looking for new ways to prevent suicide. Just last week, an Inquisitr report shared that a blood test is in the works that will help doctors know if a predisposition to suicide is present in a person. However, the suicide blood test may not work in the larger general population.

What do you think of the findings of this new study? Are you surprised at the link between suicide and risky behaviors?

[Image credit: Sander van der Wel / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]