The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suicide Prevention, Recurrent Affective Disorder and Lithium


Of 100 cases of suicide investigated by a retrospective clinical survey, 21 had histories of recurrent affective illness of sufficient frequency and severity to have qualified them, hypothetically, for lithium therapy at some time in the course of their illnesses. If lithium can prevent relapses of depression, then as many as a fifth of these 100 suicides might have been prevented.