OCD Patients Have Higher Propensity to Commit Suicide .pdf
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OCD Patients Have Higher Propensity to Commit Suicide - Study
Suicide is a major concern in the public health domain, with approximately 800,000 people committing
suicide worldwide each year. According to studies, people with a mental health condition are more likely
to die by committing suicide. It is estimated that 90 percent people who kill themselves suffer from some
form of mental disorder.
Among patients of mental disorders, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are 10 times more
likely to commit suicide than others, revealed a recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry
in July 2016. It is said that a previous attempt to kill themselves is the main predictor of suicide in OCD
patients that should be an
opportunity to intervene.
OCD, one of the most
common mental disorders,
has a lifetime prevalence of
about 2 percent among the
general population and is a
chronic condition that
significantly reduces the
quality of life.
The probability of OCD
patients to commit suicide
was considered low, and
very little attention has
been directed toward
establishing the role of
OCD in suicides. However,
the new study is an eyeopener.
OCD patients 10 times more likely to commit suicide
To study the risk of suicide among people suffering from OCD, the researchers from Karolinska Institutet
in Sweden analyzed database of 36,788 patients suffering from the disorder from the Swedish National
Patient Register during 1969-2013. They aimed at identifying the risk and protective factors that were
linked to suicidal behaviors in the respondents.
They found that of the 36,788 OCD patients, 545 had committed suicide and 4,297 had attempted suicide.
The study also revealed that the tendency of OCD patients to commit suicide was 10 times higher and the
risk of an attempted suicide scaled up five times as compared to the general population.
The researchers felt that a previous suicide attempt should serve as a warning signal of similar attempts
in the future by OCD patients. Other predictors of such an attempt in these patients could be a personality
disorder or a substance use disorder. However, “being a woman, higher socio-economic status, and having
an anxiety disorder were protective factors,” said Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, an assistant professor at
the Department of Clinical Neuroscience.
Being extra cautious helps
It is always better to be cautious to be on the safer side and realize that even in the absence of other
psychiatric conditions, OCD patients have a higher chance to commit suicide, something which the
clinicians need to understand. It is imperative to closely monitor such patients, especially those who had
already attempted suicide in the past.
The researchers felt that the findings could provide ample scope to devise preventive measures to protect
OCD people from committing suicide.
OCD is a common mental health disorder and, like any other psychiatrist condition, it also needs adequate
attention and calls for an early treatment. Leaving it untreated for a long time entails further
complications and in the worst-case scenario, a suicide attempt. But OCD it is treatable and one can take
help from a reputed anxiety treatment rehab.
If a loved one is struggling with OCD or any anxiety disorder and you are looking for anxiety disorders
treatment in Florida, contact the Florida Helpline for Anxiety for help. You may call at our 24/7 helpline
number 855-920-9834 to connect to one of the best anxiety treatment centers in Florida where
treatment would be comprehensive and recovery long-term.
For more information, please visit