Perhaps the complexity of the HPA axis and suicide is because there are many different reasons why one might commit suicide, including physical illness or injuries, which one may or may not be aware of. This suggests the importance of family doctors in getting a birth history, a pediatric history and the current vital signs [to assess the health of the autonomic nervous system in order to search for clues that the patient might be unaware of.
The vital signs include resting baseline breathing rate, the heart rate, the blood pressure and the body temperature. An abnormal pattern of vital signs should signal a health problem. In the study below, the researcher found that physical illness and mental illness often travel together:
” In the present study of a sample representative of the Scottish population, we found that physical/mental multimorbidity is a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts but not beyond the effects of mental illness. Our results potentially suggest that health professionals in primary and secondary care should screen their patients with physical and mental illness co-occurrence for suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Considering the prevalence of physical/mental multimorbidity in primary care, further targeting and intervention is required.”
For an example of patients who have unknown ventilatory defects causing difficulties managing acid base of the blood, in particular, PCO2, please read
about Paula’s case and how it reflects what Dr Emile Kraepelin found in the early part of the last century when psychiatrists had no treatments but they were clever enough to measure resting baseline respiratory rates and the other vital signs. And they knew that the brain stem directed these with the help of peripheral ganglions, nerve fibres , muscles and bone.
Difficulty moving air in and out of the body creates a sensation of chronic anguish [a type of dspnea which is not visible] which could easily lead to suicide.
That is, if the patient does not first lose their mind and will no longer be able to manage even that.
CO2 is a normal product of cell metabolism. If enough cannot be exhaled then it becomes a deliriant, an euphoriant, an intoxicant, a depressant, and an asphyxiant.
Please think about this.
There are treatments today that Kraepelin hoped would help those with respiratory defects and resulting episodes of manic depressive insanity.
Please read our evolving findings.
Please share with others.
Please change the way you approach this problem.