Epilepsy and Suicidal Attempts in Children and Adolescents

  • Žarko Martinović


The relationship between epilepsy and attempted suicide was noted by Prudhome in 19411, and was later investigated by several authors2,3,4. Although some studies failed to prove this relationship5,6, Lawson and Mitchell7 have found an incidence of epilepsy in self-poisoning patients of 4.7 percent. A similar result of 4.2 percent was recently obtained by Raićković in Belgrade, in a series of 659 patients8. Mackay9 estimated that one in every 70 epileptic patients in the United Kingdom poisoned themselves each year, and considered self-poisoning as a significant complication of epilepsy. Studying prospectively a hospital series of 1291 patients admitted after deliberate self-poisoning or self-injury, Hawton et al.4 found a fivefold excess of patients with epilepsy in comparison with general population prevalence rates. Both Mackay9 and Hawton et al.4 pointed out that the patients with epilepsy were prone to make repeated suicidal attempts by self-poisoning.


Suicidal Attempt Sodium Valproate Preadolescent Child Epileptic Attack Fivefold Excess 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Žarko Martinović
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Neuropsychiatry for Children and YouthBelgradeYugoslavia

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