PTSD common in people who attempt suicide

  • Stanley IH & al.
  • J Clin Psychol
  • 23 Jul 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • More than one-quarter of people with a history of suicide attempt (SA) reported positive screens for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Those with SA-related PTSD reported higher current suicidal intent than people with a history of SA without PTSD.

Why this matters

  • Interest in SA-related PTSD is growing among clinical researchers, even though the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition does not include a person’s own SA as a potentially traumatic event related to PTSD.

Study design

  • The study identified 386 survivors (18-69 years of age) of SA.
  • Funding: US Department of Defense.

Key results

  • 27.5% (95% CI, 23.1%-31.9%) of participants screened positive for a probable SA‐related PTSD diagnosis.
  • Current suicidal intent was significantly higher in participants with SA-related PTSD at low levels of Patient Health Questionnaire‐8 depression symptoms (P=.016).

Limitations

  • Findings may not be generalizable.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm