Mood Disorders and Suicide

  • Mariela HerreraEmail author


This chapter reviews the broad topic of suicide in patients with mood disorders. Suicide was the tenth most common cause of death in the United States in 2013 (Bostwick et al., Am J Psychiatry 173:11, 2016) and the leading cause of death in the 15–29 age group globally (Benard et al., L’Encephale 42:234–241, 2016). One of the risk factors for suicide is the presence of psychopathology, mostly mood disorders. Indeed, about ½–2/3 of all suicides occur in patients who suffer from mood disorders (Isometsa, Can J Psychiatry 59(3):120–130, 2014). Twenty five to 50% of patients with bipolar disorder (Latalova et al., Psychiatr Danub 26(2):108–114, 2014) and 30–40% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have a positive lifetime history of attempted suicide (Isometsa, Can J Psychiatry 59(3):120–130, 2014; Popovic et al., Bipolar Disord 17:795–803, 2015). The percentage of patients completing suicide is estimated at 8–19% for bipolar disorder (Latalova et al., Psychiatr Danub 26(2):108–114, 2014) and up to 15% for MDD (Antypa et al., Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 266:181–193, 2016). Epidemiological data related to mood disorders and suicide are discussed. There are different etiological theories attempting to explain the phenomenon of suicide in mood disorders, which are reviewed in this chapter. Even though risk factors for suicide have been extensively studied, prediction of those at higher risk for death by suicide continues to be difficult (Mallick and McCullumsmith, Curr Psychiatry Rep 18:61, 2016). This chapter covers risk factors for suicide in mood disorders and implications for suicide risk assessment. Finally, the recommended interventions for suicide prevention and treatment are reviewed.


Mood disorders Bipolar disorder Major depressive disorder Suicide Suicide attempts Suicide risk Persistent depressive disorders 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Billings ClinicBillingsUSA

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