When patients with OCD decide to seek, and not to avoid harm: The problem of suicidality in OCD

Gabriela M. Ferreira, Natalie V. Zanini, Gabriela B. de Menezes, Lucy Albertella, Louise Destree, Leonardo F. Fontenelle

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, distressing, and disabling condition associated with a high risk of suicidal behavior and death by suicide. In this study, the authors describe two cases of OCD patients who developed recurrent suicidal behaviors in response to stressful life events that appeared to "confirm" their obsessive beliefs (termed "confirmatory events"). In both cases, the authors used accepted strategies for treating suicidality in other contexts (such as antidepressants, lithium, and electroconvulsive therapy), which proved unsuccessful. Future studies should investigate personalized strategies to treat suicidality and prevent suicide in OCD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-374
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of the Menninger Clinic
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • suicide

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