Suicides constitute a serious public health issue worldwide. The number of suicide victims has been increasing over the years. Susceptibility to suicidal behaviour depends on the interaction of a number of factors. The reasons for taking a decision on committing suicide may objectively seem prosaic, and yet, according to the victim, cannot be resolved in any other way. Very often, it is the disease which is a risk factor for suicide. Suicidal thoughts, suicidal behaviours and suicide attempts as well as committed suicides occur far more frequently in epileptic patients than in the general population. There are many reasons for suicides committed by patients suffering from epilepsy. This paper presents basic data on epidemiology and risk factors of suicide attempts among patients with epilepsy. Risk factors in this group of patients include, inter alia, prior suicide attempts, co-morbidity of epilepsy with depression and other mental disorders, early onset (before 18 years of age), type and frequency of epileptic seizures and the use of anti-epileptic drugs, particularly in polytherapy.
Part of the book: Epileptology