• atypical depression;
  • suicide attempt;
  • bipolar disorder;
  • bipolar II disorder

Objective:  There is a dearth of research focusing on factors associated with suicide attempts. High rates of atypical depression have been reported in studies including unipolar and bipolar II patients. In this study, the association between suicide attempt and atypical depression, in addition to other major risk factors, was evaluated in 390 bipolar I and II out-patients.

Method:  Variables were defined according to DSM-IV criteria, and assessed with a Structured Interview for DSM-IV (axis I and II). History of suicide attempt was obtained through interviews with patients and relatives. Attempters and non-attempters were compared using univariate and multivariate analysis.

Results:  Attempters showed significantly higher rates of atypical depression, family history of completed suicide, depression at index episode and cluster B personality disorder.

Conclusion:  Our results highlight the relevance of atypical depression in bipolar disorder. A more accurate identification of potential attempters may contribute to the development of effective preventive treatment strategies.