Suicide Risk Associated With Schizophrenia Seems to be Increasing

suicide risk associated with schizophrenia

New research shows that the suicide risk and the odds of an early death associated with schizophrenia and other related disorders seem to be going up. These mental disorders already place an individual at a much higher risk of dying early, taking their own lives, and committing violent crimes because of their altered mental state. Oxford University researcher Dr. Seena Fazel and and colleagues evaluated data on more than 24,000 patients with schizophrenia and disorders that were related. The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. According to the report by the team “A combination of population-based and targeted strategies might be necessary to reduce the substantial rates of adverse outcomes in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders.”

When discussing the study on schizophrenia and the increased suicide risk Dr. Fazel explained “In recent years, there has been a lot of focus on primary prevention of schizophrenia, preventing people from getting ill. While primary prevention is clearly essential and may be some decades away, our study highlights the crucial importance of secondary prevention, treating, and managing the risks of adverse outcomes, such as self-harm or violent behavior, in patients. Risks of these adverse outcomes relative to others in society appear to be increasing in recent decades, suggesting that there is still much work to be done in developing new treatments and mitigating risks of adverse outcomes in people with schizophrenia.”

In comments on the study which were also published in the journal University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, NC, Dr. Eric Elbogen and colleague Sally Johnson report “One of the unique aspects of this study, that violence and suicide were analyzed simultaneously, has an important implication for how we as a society perceive people with mental illness. News coverage of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders often focuses on violence and crime. Much less attention is paid to suicide and self-harm in people with severe mental illnesses.”

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