Correlates of suicidal ideation in dysphoric mania

Joseph F. Goldberg, Jessica L. Garno, Laura Portera, Andrew C. Leon, James H. Kocsis, Joyce E. Whiteside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Background: Previous investigations have reported that suicidal ideation and behavior are more prevalent during mixed than pure mania. Uncertainties exist about whether suicidality in mania arises from multiple concurrent depressive symptoms, or rather, as a categorical phenomenon, reflecting dysphoria without necessarily a full major depression. To elucidate the relationship between suicidal ideation and dysphoric mania, we analyzed clinical and demographic features associated with suicidal versus nonsuicidal dysphoric manic inpatients. Methods: Records were reviewed for 100 DSM-III-R bipolar I manic inpatients at the Payne Whitney Clinic of New York Hospital from 1991-1995. All had ≥ 2 concomitant depressive symptoms (other than suicidality). Affective and psychotic symptoms, past suicide attempts, prior illness, and related clinical/demographic variables were assessed by a standardized protocol. Results: Suicidal ideation was significantly more common among dysphoric manics who were caucasian, took antidepressant medications in the week prior to admission, had histories of alcohol abuse/dependence, and made past suicide attempts. Suicidal ideation was evident for nearly half of dysphoric manic patients with ≤3 depressive symptoms who did not meet DSM criteria for a mixed state. No individual manic or depressive symptoms other than dysphoric mood were more common among suicidal than nonsuicidal patients. Limitations: Findings from this retrospective study require confirmation using a prospective assessment. Treatments were naturalistic and may have differentially influenced hospital course and illness characteristics. Factors related to suicide attempts (rare in this cohort) or completions (not a focus of this study) may differ from those related only to suicidal ideation. Conclusions: Caucasian dysphoric manic patients with past suicide attempts and substance abuse may have a significantly elevated risk for suicidality, even when full major depression does not accompany mania. Suicidality is a clinically important consideration in a majority of dysphoric manic patients. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorders
  • Depression
  • Dysphoric mania
  • Suicide


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