Suicide and visual loss: a case report reflecting the need for recognition and management in ophthalmological settings

Semin Ophthalmol. 2014 Jul;29(4):202-4. doi: 10.3109/08820538.2013.821500. Epub 2014 Apr 4.


In the United States, 5.5 million people over the age of 40 meet criteria for visual impairment (VI). They often suffer significant psychosocial and health consequences, including reduced quality of life and depression, which can be persistent and difficult to treat. Additionally, VI may increase the risk of suicide. We report a case of a patient with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and suicidal ideation. While this link is reasonable, there are no prior cases of suicidality among patients with ARMD. Moreover, the literature is silent regarding proper approaches to diagnosing and managing suicidality among patients with VI, especially ARMD.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; blindness; depressive symptoms; suicidal ideation; suicide.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Vision, Low / psychology*
  • Visually Impaired Persons / psychology*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / psychology*