Depression and Suicide

  • Oliver Freudenreich
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Schizophrenia is a disease that has a 5% mortality risk – from suicide that often occurs during the early phase of the illness. This chapter describes risk factors for suicide in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, including active psychosis itself, and how to assess suicide risk. The optimal pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia patients who are suicidal is reviewed, including the use of clozapine which has anti-suicide properties. An important distinction is made between depression and demoralization. Both can result in suicidality, but demoralization requires re-moralization (giving hope) more so than medications.


Suicide Risk factors Stress-diathesis model CDC terminology Psychache Suicide assessment Depression Demoralization Clozapine 


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Additional Resources


    1. – The CDSS is available at this website. The University of Calgary has a very active schizophrenia research program, and the CDSS comes out of its Department of Psychiatry.
    2. – The website of the American Association of Suicidology. A good starting point for more information. This site has a large number of links to other organizations and resources related to suicide.
    3. – The Centers for Disease Control’s website that contains up-to-date statistics about suicide and terminology (e.g., what should be called a suicide attempt).
    4. – Extensive materials about the Columbia Scale.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Freudenreich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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