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Saras Ramiya, 16 Jan 2020

The Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA), Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) and Pfizer Malaysia jointly launched a new mental health handbook in December 2019 to highlight the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and encourage Malaysians to see a doctor early if they experience any signs or symptoms.

Irritability signals suicidal ideation in major depression

20 Dec 2020

Among patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), high levels of irritability are linked to suicidal behaviour, a study suggests.

The study used data from three trials: Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes (CO-MED, n=665), Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response in Clinical Care (EMBARC, n=296), and Suicide Assessment Methodology Study (SAMS, n=266).

Clinical and demographic characteristics were similar across the cohorts, with the exception of the proportion of unemployed participants, which was higher in CO-MED (50.2 percent) than in SAMS (35.8 percent). Furthermore, participants in SAMS reported lower levels of suicidality (assessed using three-item suicidal thoughts factor of Concise Health Risk Tracking scale) than in CO-MED or in EMBARC.

Repeated-measures mixed model analyses revealed an association between higher irritability (measured using five-item irritability domain of Concise Associated Symptom Tracking scale) and higher suicidal ideation (SI) concurrently (estimates, 0.18 in CO-MED, 0.64 in EMBARC, and 0.26 in SAMS; p<0.0001, p<0.0001, and p<0.0001, respectively).

At week 2, greater reductions in irritability from baseline predicted lower levels of subsequent SI (estimates, −0.08 in CO-MED, −0.50 in EMBARC, and −0.12 in SAMS; p=0.023, p<0.0001, and p=0.024, respectively). The estimates persisted despite controlling for anxiety or insomnia.

The findings highlight the importance of looking out for signs of irritability in suicide risk assessment.
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Most Read Articles
Saras Ramiya, 16 Jan 2020

The Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA), Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) and Pfizer Malaysia jointly launched a new mental health handbook in December 2019 to highlight the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and encourage Malaysians to see a doctor early if they experience any signs or symptoms.