Suicidal behavior in unipolar depression: Focus on mixed states

Zoltán Rihmer, Franco Benazzi, Xénia Gonda

Research output: Chapter


Although suicide is a very complex, multicausal human behaviour, associated with several risk and some protective factors, untreated major depressive episode is the most important risk factor for it. As suicidal behaviour in unipolar depressives and bipolar patients occurs almost exclusively in the context of major depression (and less frequently in dysphoric mania) the early detection and appropriate, acute and long-term treatment is essential for suicide prevention. However, since only a minority of depressives takes their own lives, other, social and clinical suicide risk factors play also a contributory role. Several recently published studies demonstrated that mixed depressive episode (major depression plus 3 or more co-occurring intra-depressive hypomanic symptoms, which highly corresponds to the well-recognized "agitated depression") that is present in one third of unipolar major depressives, substantially increases the risk of suicidal behaviour. At the end of the chapter, the nosological, diagnostic and treatment implications of depressive mixed states in particular regards to recognition and prevention of suicidal behaviour are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Phenomenon of Suicide
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781613249246
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Rihmer, Z., Benazzi, F., & Gonda, X. (2012). Suicidal behavior in unipolar depression: Focus on mixed states. In Exploring the Phenomenon of Suicide (pp. 101-113). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..