What is Bipolar Disorder?
Signs & Symptoms
Who is at Risk?
Types of Treatment
- Mood Stabilizers
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Bipolar Disorder and Suicide
The depressive phase of bipolar disorder is often very severe, and suicide is a major risk factor. In fact, people suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to attempt suicide than those suffering from regular depression. Furthermore, their suicide attempts tend to be more lethal.
The risk of suicide is even higher in people with bipolar disorder who have frequent depressive episodes, mixed episodes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, a family history of suicide, or an early onset of the disease.
The warning signs of suicide include:
- Talking about death, self-harm, or suicide
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Feeling worthless or like a burden to others
- Acting recklessly, as if one has a “death wish”
- Putting affairs in order or saying goodbye
- Seeking out weapons or pills that could be used to commit suicide
What if I or someone I know is in crisis?
If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, tell someone who can help immediately.
- Call your doctor.
- Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help or ask a friend or family member to help you do these things.
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor. or visit IASP orSuicide.org to find a helpline in your country.
- Make sure you or the suicidal person is not left alone.