It has not been established that suicide risk with mixed symptoms is any greater than the depressive component or if there is synergy between depressive and manic symptoms in conveying suicide risk.
The National Network of Depression Centers Mood Outcomes Program collected data from measurement-based care for 17,179 visits from 6,105 unique individuals with clinically diagnosed mood disorders (998 bipolar disorder, 5,117 major depression). The Patient Health Questionaire-8 (PHQ-8) captured depressive symptoms and the Altman Self-Rating Mania scale (ASRM) measured hypomanic/manic symptoms. Generalized linear mixed models assessed associations between depressive symptoms, manic symptoms, and their interaction (to test for synergistic effects of mixed symptoms) on the primary outcome of suicidal ideation or behavior (secondarily suicidal behavior only) from the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). Moderation was assessed.
PHQ-8 scores were strongly associated with suicide-related outcomes across diagnoses. ASRM scores showed no association with suicidal ideation/behavior in bipolar disorder and an inverse association in major depression. There was no evidence of synergy between depressive and manic symptoms. There was no moderation by sex, race, or mood disorder polarity. Those over 55 years of age showed a protective effect of manic symptoms, which was lost when depressive symptoms were also present (mixed symptoms).
Mixed depressive and manic symptoms convey no excess risk of suicidal ideation or behavior beyond the risk conveyed by the depressive symptoms alone. Depressive symptoms are strongly linked to suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior and represent an important and potentially modifiable risk factor for suicide.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.