Self-esteem (SE) and social adjustment (SA) are often impaired during the course of affective disorders; this impairment is associated with suicidal behaviour. The aim of the present study was to investigate SE and SA in unipolar or bipolar patients in relation to demographic and clinical characteristics, especially the presence of suicidality (ideation and/or attempt). Forty-four patients, 28 bipolar and 16 unipolar, in remission for at least 3 months, and 50 healthy individuals were examined through a structured clinical interview. SE and SA were assessed by the Rosenberg self-esteem scale and the social adjustment scale, respectively. The results have shown that bipolar patients did not differ from controls in terms of SE, while unipolar patients had lower SE than bipolars and controls. No significant differences in the mean SA scores were found between the three groups. Suicidality during depression was associated only in bipolar patients with lower SE at remission; similar but not as pronounced was the association of suicidality with SA. It is concluded that low SE lasting into remission seems to be related to the expression of suicidality during depressive episodes of bipolar patients, while no similar pattern is evident in unipolar patients.