The sudden loss of a loved one can trigger a variety of psychiatric disorders in people with no history of mental illness. While previous studies have suggested there is a link between sudden bereavement and an onset of common psychiatric disorders, this is the first study to show the association of acute bereavement and mania in a large population sample.
In people aged 30 years or older, the unexpected death of a loved one roughly doubled the risk for new-onset mania after controlling for prior psychiatric diagnoses, other traumatic experiences, and certain demographic variables like sex, race, income, education, and marital status. For those <50 years of age or ≥70 years, the risk increase was more than five-fold. There was no significant effect in people younger than 30 years.
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