Year: 2021 Source: Journal of Forensic Sciences. (2016). 61(6), 1660-1663. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13195 SIEC No: 20210817

Frequency and gender differences of psychiatric medication intake in a sample of suicide victims from the Athens Greater Area were investigated with a particular focus on the implications for suicide prevention. Data were collected from the toxicological analyses of the suicide cases of the period November 2007-October 2009. Information was available for 262 individuals, 196 men (74.8%) and 66 women (25.2%); 109 of these (41.6%) were receiving psychiatric medication(s). Women were statistically more frequently under treatment: antidepressants (32.8% vs. 11.3%, p < 0.001), antiepileptics (9.1% vs. 0.5%, p = 0.001), antipsychotics (24.2% vs. 9.2%, p = 0.003), and benzodiazepines (16.7% vs. 6.6%, p = 0.024). Campaigns aiming to bring men with psychological difficulties in contact with mental health services and to lessen the stigma of mental illness, together with better training of nonpsychiatrists into “suspecting” “male” depression, could be particularly helpful for decreasing male suicides. More thoughtful choice of psychiatric medication could possibly already prevent a number of female suicides.