Background: Mood disorders are more frequent after brain injury and both depressive and manic episodes are associated in these patients with an increased risk of aggression. Antidepressant medications are associated with a risk of manic induction.
Case report: We describe a case of homicidal ideation with intent during the onset of a manic episode in a patient with prior brain injury on antidepressant medication at low dosage. The manic episode could have been secondary to brain injury and/or triggered by antidepressant medications. This case raises the possibility of the sensitizing role of brain injury for antidepressant-induced mania.
Conclusions: Further studies are needed to assess the role of brain injury as a risk factor for antidepressant-induced mania. Physicians should be cautious when prescribing antidepressants to patients with prior brain injury and inform them and their relatives of the possibility of a switch into mania.