Can Blink Rate Measure Suicide Risk?

Lowered eye blink rate may be a clinically useful indicator of acute, imminent, and severe suicide risk. Diminished eye blink rates are often seen among individuals engaged in heightened concentration on a specific task that requires careful planning and attention. Indeed, overcoming one’s biological instinct for survival through suicide necessitates premeditation and concentration; thus, a diminished eye blink rate may signal imminent suicidality. A new  article published in the journal Crisis aims to spur research and clinical inquiry into the role of eye blinks as an indicator of acute suicide risk. Literature relevant to the potential connection between eye blink rate and suicidality was reviewed and synthesized and results showed  anecdotal, cognitive, neurological, and conceptual support for the relationship between decreased blink rate and suicide risk is outlined.  Given that eye blinks are a highly observable behavior, the potential clinical utility of using eye blink rate as a marker of suicide risk is immense. Research is warranted to explore the association between eye blink rate and acute suicide risk.

For the abstract



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