Boris Berezovsky spoke of "enemies" who were "trying to destroy him" before his death, a psychiatrist has told an inquest in London.
Dr Saeed Islam said Mr Berezovsky "perceived relentless pressure on him in terms of litigation and fear of losing those cases".
He said he also spoke of "enemies in Russia who were trying to destroy him and make him homeless".
Dr Islam told the inquest that Mr Berezovsky described feeling very low and told him: "I can't see a way out."
But he said that although Mr Berezovsky had suicidal thoughts, the tycoon had said it was not an option due to his Russian Orthodox beliefs and his family.
Boris Berezovsky's former wife told an inquest she did not believe the businessman and politician would kill himself.
In a statement, Galina Besharova said she spoke with her ex-husband every day, including the evening before his death.
The pair had been due to speak on March 23, but Mr Berezovsky's phone went to voicemail.She said: "My former husband did not plan to kill himself.
"He knew my children were coming to the house (that weekend). I also cannot believe he would commit suicide," she said.
Boris Berezovsky's personal assistant has told an inquest that the oligarch changed his will just days before his death.
Onto Berezovsky's PA now who says he changed his will 9 days before his death
Boris Berezovsky talked regularly about suicide and described himself as "the poorest man in the world" before his death, an inquest has heard.
Bodyguard says Berezovsky would talk frequently about suicide
Bodyguard says Berezovsky would tell him - I'm not a billionaire I'm the poorest man in the world.
Mr Berezovsky's body guard added, however, that security was "very light" at the Berkshire home where the oligarch was found dead.
Bodyguard describes security at house where Berezovsky died as very light - anyone could break in
Boris Berezovsky was unprotected by security for "a couple of hours" prior to his death, an inquest into the Russian oligarch's death has heard.
ITV News' Romilly Weeks reports:
Bodyguard also says Berezovsky's huge security operation reduced to single bodyguard after he lost case with Abramovich
Berezovsky was unprotected for a couple of hours on the day of his death when his bodyguard went shopping
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was a "broken man" after losing a lengthy court case against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, an inquest has heard.
The loss in the £3 billion claim is thought to have cost Mr Berezovsky £70 million in total.
Inquest hearing evidence from former staff members that Berezovsky was a "broken man" after he lost case against Roman Abramovich
Berezovsky's bodyguard describes him as very depressed in the last 4 months of his life
Boris Berezovsky's family has been asked why 'potentially significant' information was only presented to a coroner two days before his inquest was set to resume.
ITV News' Romilly Weeks reports from Windsor Guildhall:
Coroner asking Berezovsky's family why he only received information of potential significance to inquest 2 days before
Coroner says he will carry on with hearing regardless
The inquest into Mr Berezovsky's death was opened and quickly adjourned shortly after his death in March last year.
An inquest into the death of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky begins this morning in London.
The 67-year-old was found dead from hanging at his Berkshire home in March last year. His ex-girlfriend and daughters are among those expected to give evidence at the two-day hearing.
Last time there were this many cameras outside Windsor Guildhall was for wedding of Charles and Camilla
Berezovsky's daughters and ex girlfriend are on the list of witnesses at the inquest today
The daughter of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky who was found dead at his UK home has paid tribute to her father saying he was "an inspiration" to her and had a "joy for life".
An inquest heard this week that the 67-year-old was found lying on the floor of the bathroom at his home in Ascot, Berkshire, on March 23 with a ligature around his neck and a cause of death was given as "consistent with hanging".
His daughter, Arina Berezovsky, said in a statement released through Thames Valley Police:
I didn't know my dad very well but what I am sure of is that he really loved his family and that he was always happy around his children and grandchildren.
His life was a turbulent roller-coaster with never-ending ordeals, and I admire the way in which he handled them with utter grace, control and most commendably honesty.
Unfortunately, honesty does not 'cut it' in this corrupt world and is often mistaken for being manipulative; which my dad was not.
He had a certain joy for life, which was beautifully refreshing, and never took anything he had for granted.
His all-consuming determination for justice will be an inspiration to me for the rest of my life and I aspire to one day have half the courage he did when standing up for his beliefs; even if he had to stand alone.
My hopes for him now are that he is at peace and that he is happy.
The inquest into the death of Boris Berezovsky has been opened and adjourned. There was a brief account of the circumstances around the discovery of the body.
He was found with material around his neck and also a piece of similar material tied around a shower nearby. There is no evidence of third party involvement. However, investigations are still ongoing, so this possibility cannot be eliminated.
Police are still waiting for toxicology reports and the house where he lived in Ascot remains 'under police control' as searches continue.
Berezovsky's body was formally identified this week by his eldest daughter.