Benzos Quadruple the Risk of Suicide in Schizophrenia

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Finnish researchers found that among 2,588 patients hospitalized for the first time with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, benzodiazepine use predicted almost 4x the rate of suicide and almost twice the rate of all-cause mortality. 826 of 904 patients who used benzodiazepines had purchased prescriptions that violated treatment guidelines. (Antidepressant use was associated with a decrease in suicide deaths). The findings appear in Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].

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