This is remarkable news. First let me say that being able to tell whether a person is on the verge of suicide can be very easy or very hard. It can be very easy because the person may have tried it before or because they talk about being depressed to the point that they not only want to, but plan to kill themselves. That's a no brainer. But how do health workers like medical doctors, nurses, psychologists or psychiatrists know if someone is on the verge of suicide? It can be virtually impossible. Now a new study is out that may change all that.
Scientists might be on the verge of developing a blood test that could help identify those at high risk for doing themselves in. It's a study out of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Over three years, researchers followed people with bipolar disorder and conducted blood tests and interviews to find out if there were any biological indicators of suicide risk. Here's what they found.
In those patients who reported having high levels of suicidal thoughts, they also had high levels of six biomarkers with the strongest being one particular gene. They also examined the blood taken from deceased people who had actually committed suicide and found the same thing.
The blood test can provide an early warning of suicide risk, but would also be useful because people who have suicidal thoughts don't always reveal their symptoms to their doctors.