Obsessive compulsive disorder and suicide: a literature review

Justė Teišerskytė1, Justė Straševičiūtė1, Algirdas Musneckis2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences

2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry


Introduction. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder that occurs with repetitive thoughts and actions and has a significant impact on the mental state of patients of all ages.

Background. Patients with OCD are often diagnosed with comorbid conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder or major depression, which may lead to an increased risk of suicide.

Aim. The aim of this review was to discuss obsessive compulsive disorder, suicide and their correlation based on the practices of researchers and to provide effective recommendations.

Research methods. A review of literature. The search for the latest literature was performed using Google Scholar, ClinicalKey, PubMed databases. Criteria for inclusion: 1) articles, full text provided; 2) links between OCD and suicide. The analyzed literature covers the period 1999-2022. Criteria for rejecting articles: 1) unreviewed publications; 2) the article is not related to the OCD or suicide process.

Results. Although the exact mechanisms of depression and OCD comorbidity are not fully understood, major depression is said to be the most common diagnosis of OCD, which also contributes to the exacerbation of suicidal thoughts, behaviors. The scientific volume indicates that the more severe the patient’s symptoms of OCD, the more likely the patient is to have suicidal intent.

Conclusion. The findings suggest that a large proportion of people with OCD have an increased risk of suicidal behavior. It is important to monitor the risk of suicide in patients with OCD, with a particular reference to those with suicidal ideation.

Keywords: obsessive compulsive disorder, suicide, obsessions, compulsions.