Behind impulsive suicide attempts: Indications from a community study
ABSTRACT A considerable proportion of suicide attempts are made on impulse. However, knowledge of characteristics of impulsive attempters is still limited. The present study investigated some of these characteristics and aimed to identify the pattern (if any) of suicidal ideation before an impulsive attempt.
Data from a randomized and stratified population of 5130 individuals from Brisbane, Australia, were analysed. Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were adopted to recruit subjects. Those reporting previous suicidal behaviour were sent a questionnaire by mail.
One hundred and twelve subjects reported a suicide attempt. One quarter of these described a pattern consistent with an impulsive attempt. Most impulsive attempters experienced suicidal thoughts before their attempt. They were less likely to believe that their attempt would cause death, and less likely to experience depression. Impulsive attempters did not differ significantly from non-impulsive attempters in regards to age, gender, and motivations for the attempt. Surprisingly, no differences in mean scores of trait impulsivity between impulsive and non-impulsive attempters were found. In addition, the majority of suicide attempters (whether impulsive or not) experienced the suicidal process as fluctuating and not as developing along a continuum.
The number of attempters who validly entered the study limited our ability to identify potential confounders. Due to the retrospective nature of the survey, the reliability of the information collected may have been affected by recall biases. In addition, as the surveys were administered by mail, it is possible that some questions may have been misinterpreted.
The presence of suicidal feelings prior to an attempt constitutes an opportunity for intervention also in impulsive attempters. However, the identification of impulsiveness requires more research efforts.
- SourceAvailable from: Francesco Bruno
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Impulsivity and aggression are moreover strongly linked to suicidality in several epidemiological, clinical, retrospective, prospective, and family studies.33,35 "
ABSTRACT: Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the role that psychopathological dimensions as overt aggression and impulsivity play in determining suicide risk in benign chronic pain patients (CPPs). Furthermore we investigated the possible protective/risk factors which promote these negative feelings, analyzing the relationship between CPPs and their caregivers. Methods We enrolled a total of 208 patients, divided into CPPs and controls affected by internistic diseases. Assessment included collection of sociodemographic and health care data, pain characteristics, administration of visual analog scale (VAS), Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 11 (BIS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and a caregiver self-administered questionnaire. All variables were statistically analyzed. Results A significant difference of VAS, MOAS-total/verbal/auto-aggression, HDRS-total/suicide mean scores between the groups were found. BIS mean score was higher in CPPs misusing analgesics. In CPPs a correlation between MOAS-total/verbal/auto-aggression with BIS mean score, MOAS with HDRS-suicide mean score and BIS with HDRS-suicide mean scores were found. The MOAS and BIS mean scores were significantly higher when caregivers were not supportive. Conclusion In CPPs, aggression and impulsivity could increase the risk of suicide. Moreover, impulsivity, overt aggression and pain could be interrelated by a common biological core. Our study supports the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the CPPs management and the necessity to supervise caregivers, which may become risk/protective factors for the development of feelings interfering with the treatment and rehabilitation of CPPs.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 09/2014; 10:1613-20. DOI:10.2147/NDT.S66209 · 2.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Indeed, reactive aggression and impulsive personality characteristics have been recently highlighted as major risk factors for suicidal ideation and behaviour (Pfeffer et al, 2000; Conner et al, 2003; Dougherty et al, 2004; Hull-Blanks et al, 2004; Smith et al, 2008). Although impulsive actions often result in higher likelihood of self-inflicted painful and provocative experiences, they are rarely conducive to attempted and completed suicide, which typically require prior planning (Baca-Garcia et al, 2005; Wyder and De Leo, 2007; Smith et al, 2008; Witte et al, 2008). Conversely, while proactive aggression has been often regarded as unrelated to suicide, recent studies have shown that this subtype is actually associated to suicide attempt in men, but not women (Conner et al., 2009). "
ABSTRACT: Alterations in serotonin (5-HT) neurochemistry have been implicated in the aetiology of all major neuropsychiatric disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to mood and anxiety-spectrum disorders. This review will focus on the mulifaceted implications of 5-HT-ergic dysfunctions in the pathophysiology of aggressive and suicidal behaviours. After a brief overview of the anatomical distribution of the 5-HT-ergic system in the key brain areas that govern aggression and suicidal behaviours, the implication of 5-HT markers (5-HT receptors, transporter as well as synthetic and metabolic enzymes) in these conditions is discussed. In this regard, particular emphasis is placed on the integration of pharmacological and genetic evidence from animal studies with the findings of human experimental and genetic association studies. Traditional views postulated an inverse relationship between 5-HT and aggression and suicidal behaviours; however, ample evidence has shown that this perspective may be overly simplistic, and that such pathological manifestations may reflect alterations in 5-HT homeostasis due to the interaction of genetic, environmental and gender-related factors, particularly during early critical developmental stages. The development of animal models that may capture the complexity of such interactions promises to afford a powerful tool to elucidate the pathophysiology of impulsive aggression and suicidability, and find new effective therapies for these conditions.Neuroscience 02/2013; 236:160-185. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.015 · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Même s'il existe la plupart du temps un mélange de fonctions interpersonnelles et intrapersonnelles, les fonctions citées majoritairement sont d'abord intrapersonnelles : un désir de fuir, de s'échapper, d'obtenir un soulagement face à des sentiments ou des situations personnelles jugés insupportables         . Certains suicidants considèrent leur geste comme impulsif, incompréhensible ou sans autre explication qu'une incapacité à trouver une solution   . Quand elle est présente, l'intention « pour mourir » est aussi fréquemment citée [26,32—35,44]. "
ABSTRACT: Fifteen years ago, Baechler presented his "strategic theory of suicide". Following a viewpoint initiated at the end of the 1950's by Stengel and Cook, he proposed the more accomplished theoretical development of suicidal functions. We propose a critical review of international empiric literature following this approach. We carried out a bibliographic research on PsychINFO(®) databank, crossing terms of suicide attempt, deliberate self-harm and parasuicide, to reasons, motivations, functions, intentions. Thirty-one articles were selected. They cover a period ranging from 1971 to 2008, and from Europe to the USA. Few studies have been conducted in France, but international literature has grown since 1970, and some questionnaires have been created: e.g. the Motives for Parasuicide Questionnaire (MPQ, Kerkhof et al., 1993 ) and the Reasons for Attempting Suicide Questionnaire (RASQ, Holden et al., 1998 ). The first intentions mentioned are internal perturbations type: to get relief, to escape, cannot endure situation or thoughts any longer, loss of control. They are often blended with interpersonal intentions: to make people understand what they felt, to seek help, to make things easier for others, while more aggressive, punitive or manipulative functions are seldom reported. Women report more reasons than men, but do not differ in their pattern of intentions. Suicide attempters report varying desire to die across studies. Some inconsistent distinctions can be made from age and gender but few from subjects' suicidal history. One can wonder if subject's answers are really honest, particularly in regards to social desirability. Links between internal perturbations and suicidal intent, hopelessness, and depression are logically found, which aims to give evidence that, at least for this dimension, subjects give true answers, but which also point out the redundant aspect of some items of the suicidant functions scales (e.g. "to die"). Today, it turns out that this kind of research should be managed in France, by creating tools and questionnaires, validating existing ones and, internationally, by taking into account gender, age, and subjects' suicidal history to obtain more clear results. So far, to our knowledge, this kind of review has never been conducted. Suicidal functions appear to be a rich and relevant approach to better understand suicide attempts, notably in a "suicidal crisis" perspective. In the future, some links with coping strategies and cathartic effect of the attempts could be made. We also point out that it could be relevant for psychotherapeutic care.L Encéphale 04/2012; 38(2):118-25. · 0.60 Impact Factor