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August 23, 2005

Mixed States Increases Girl Suicide Risk

Having mixed states apparently increases the suicide risk in girls, but does not do so for boys. It has been suggested in the past that using antidepressants can increase the suicide risk in those with bipolar disorder, but this study shows that there may be more to the issue. Perhaps it is mixed states and their often unrecognized nature combined with antidepressants that increases the suicide risk.

The potential correlation between suicidality and mixed states was studied by researchers. The participants in the study were 247 individuals at the average age of 14.7 years old, all of which had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The article stated that 100 of these subjects had either bipolar I or II disorder. Those participating in the study were also examined for "concurrent intra-major depressive episode hypomania/mania." Their past and current suicide attempts and ideation were looked at and taken into account when doing this study.

Of all of the participants 82% of them had mixed states, of which 46 were boys and 36 were girls. The girls in the study were over twice as likely to currently be having thoughts of suicide. Girls were also 3 times more likely to have had a past attempt at suicide. Researchers stated that mixed states did not forecast suicidal thoughts or attempts. "Its presence did, however, contribute independently to suicidal behavior among the female patients. Girls in mixed states were approximately four times as likely to have attempted suicide as those without mixed states, Dilsaver and team report in the Journal of Affective Disorders. This relationship remained true even after taking into account age, presence of psychotic features, and family history of mood disorder" (PsychiatrySource.com, 2005).

The researchers involved in this study stated that their findings had relevance to the controversy over suicide and antidepressant use in adolescents. They believe that the failure to classify mixed states and recognizing them may be the root problem of antidepressants increased suicidality.

Original Source: Mixed states increase suicide risk in girls. PsychiatrySource.com. July 26, 2005.

This comes from the research article: Gender, suicidality and bipolar mixed states in adolescents published in J Affect Disord 2005; 87: 11–16.

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