Substance Abuse, Temperament and Suicide Risk: Evidence from a Case-Control Study
The aim of the current study was to evaluate differences between two matched groups of psychiatric outpatients (those with and those without substance abuse) on clinical variables that previous research has suggested may be associated with substance abuse comorbidity. The sample consisted of 31 consecutively admitted psychiatric outpatients (16 men and 15 women) with substance use comorbidity; controls were 31 outpatients without substance use comorbidity who were matched for sex and age. The patients completed the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego-autoquestionnaire version, the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, the Gotland Male Depression Scale, and the Beck Hopelessness Scale. As a group, the substance abusers had a different temperament profile (higher dysthymic/cyclothymic/anxiety and irritability and lower hyperthymic traits), a higher hopelessness, global psychopathology severity, impulsivity/aggression, and suicide risk (higher lifetime suicide ideation and suicide attempts), and were more frequently depressed. However, few differences were significant and almost all were of small magnitude. Furthermore, bipolar disorders type II were overrepresented in the abuser group compared to the control group (45% vs. 22%, respectively).
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