Anxiety disorders and suicidal behaviour: an update
Purpose of review The primary aim of this review is to present the main findings from the literature published between January 2006 and May 2007 on anxiety and suicidal behaviour. The secondary aim is to present critical comments on methodological issues, highlighting areas for future research. Recent findings: Traditionally, anxiety disorders have not been viewed as independent risk factors for suicidal behaviour, and therefore assessment of anxiety disorders has not been particularly emphasized in clinical enquiries and suicide screening tools. This review identifies evidence suggesting that specific anxiety disorders (e.g. generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder) may be independently associated with suicidality, to which they particularly contribute when they are co-morbid with bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or ost-traumatic stress disorder, in both child/adolescent and adult populations. Summary: Despite methodological issues preventing firm conclusions from being drawn in most cases, these findings should prompt clinicians to evaluate more specifically the impact of anxiety disorders on suicidal behaviour, particularly when they are co-morbid. Further research into treatment of anxiety disorders in relation to preventing suicide is required.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry