Current suicide ideation and prior suicide attempts of bipolar patients as influences on caregiver burden.
Chessick CA., Perlick DA., Miklowitz DJ., Kaczynski R., Allen MH., Morris CD., Marangell LB., STED-BD Family Experience Collaborative Study Group None.
We examined whether caregivers of bipolar patients reporting current suicidal ideation and/or a history of a suicide attempt reported higher levels of burden and/or poorer health compared to caregivers of patients without these suicidality indices. In a cross-sectional design, caregivers (N = 480) associated with (a) patients with current suicidal ideation or (b) patients with a positive lifetime history of at least one suicide attempt, reported lower general health scores than caregivers associated with patients with neither of these indices. Parents of patients with at least one lifetime attempt reported more burden secondary to role dysfunction than spouses. Levels of depression in caregivers varied with whether the caregiver was a spouse or a parent, and whether patients had a history of suicide attempts, current suicidal ideation, or both.