What is the Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Suicide?

Dulce Corazon

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a condition that affects brain function, resulting in unpredictable and intense changes in energy, mood, and thinking. A person who has bipolar disorder may be extremely happy one day, and can suffer depression a few days later. These cycles can last for several days, weeks, or even months. When patients get very depressed, they may frequently think about committing suicide. This is why bipolar disorder and suicide are often associated with each other.

Intense mood swings and emotional instability are classic symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Intense mood swings and emotional instability are classic symptoms of bipolar disorder.

About 30% of individuals with bipolar disorder have histories of suicide attempts. Other behavior changes often observed in those experiencing depression include increased sleepiness, lack of energy, and irritability. Some may lose interest in things they usually enjoy and have failing grades in school due to lack of concentration. It is often important for family members and mental health experts to help these patients, especially those with a history bipolar disorder and suicide attempts. If patients are not given prompt and proper therapy, their problems can frequently worsen.

A bipolar depressive episode can be dangerous and lead to attempted self-harm or suicide.
A bipolar depressive episode can be dangerous and lead to attempted self-harm or suicide.

There are several signs to watch for in patients with bipolar disorder and suicide risks. These patients may have prolonged periods of sadness and may often feel hopeless and empty inside. They may also think that they are worthless to society, and that the world would be a better place without them. Many may also speak about dying or ending their lives.

Bipolar can affect a person's thought process, increasing feelings of angst and depression.
Bipolar can affect a person's thought process, increasing feelings of angst and depression.

Most attempts at suicide are usually planned, but some are also impulsively made. The best measure to prevent death in individuals with bipolar disorder and suicide tendencies is to minimize their chances of harming themselves. Knives, guns, blades, ropes, and cables must be kept away from these patients. They must also must not be left alone.

During periods of elevated mood, patients with bipolar disorder usually have much energy and optimism. They frequently unrealistically believe that they possess certain abilities. Many become very restless and impulsive, and may indulge in shopping sprees or dangerous hobbies. Some may abuse alcohol and use illegal drugs.

Treatment of patients with a history bipolar disorder and suicide attempts often involve the use of medications to control their mood changes, as well as other symptoms. Treatment usually takes many years for patients to manage their symptoms. Aside from medications, they may also need to see a psychiatrist regularly.

People who are taking medication for bipolar disorder might overdose and commit suicide.
People who are taking medication for bipolar disorder might overdose and commit suicide.

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