Year: 2020 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders. (2019). Published online 14 November 2019. SIEC No: 20200068


We tested the hypothesis that dysfunctional regulation of sadness (maladaptive mood repair) is one route by which a history of depressive episodes increases the risk of non-fatal suicidal behaviors, ranging from recurrent thoughts of death to attempted suicide.

We also examined whether the predictive power of maladaptive mood repair is altered by additional risk and protective factors.

Among young adults with histories of juvenile-onset depressive episodes, and emotionally healthy controls, maladaptive mood repair was a robust prospective predictor of suicidal behaviors across a 3-year follow-up. While some other risk and protective factors also predicted suicidal behaviors, they no longer did so in the presence of maladaptive mood repair.

The findings suggest that maladaptive mood repair should be targeted by interventions that seek to prevent suicidal behaviors, and raise questions as to whether recurrent thoughts of death can be regarded as an indicator of suicidal risk.