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Keywords:

  • age of onset;
  • bipolar;
  • family history;
  • harm avoidance;
  • suicide attempts;
  • temperament

Objectives:  The aim of the study was to examine whether personality, i.e. temperament and character influence suicide attempts in bipolar patients.

Methods:  Bipolar patients were recruited from lithium dispensaries. Temperament and character inventory (TCI) was administered to 100 euthymic bipolar patients and 100 controls.

Results:  Age of onset was significantly lower in patients with suicide attempts in the total bipolar group (I and II) and bipolar I patients compared with patients without suicide attempts. Bipolar (I and II) and bipolar I patients with suicide attempts were significantly higher in harm avoidance (HA) and reward dependence compared with patients without suicide attempts. Patients (I and II) with suicide attempts had significantly more anticipatory worry, fatigability and asthenia than patients without suicide attempts. Bipolar I patients with suicide attempts had significantly more fatigability and asthenia and were more dependent than patients without suicide attempts. HA was lowest in patients with no suicide attempts and no family history of suicide, higher in patients with family history of suicide or patients with suicide attempts, and significantly highest in patients with suicide attempts and family history of suicide. Patients with suicide attempts and family history of suicide had more anticipatory worry, fatigability and asthenia. Bipolar disorder was significantly correlated to HA and suicide attempts to HA and PS. Family history of suicide and gender were significantly correlated to suicide attempts.

Conclusions:  Age of onset, HA, PS, gender and family history of suicide had a moderate to very strong effect on suicide attempts in bipolar patients.