Archive for category Suicide
Current and former soldiers who seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be screened closely for major depression since the disorder is the single strongest driver of suicidal thinking, say authors of a new Canadian study.
Researchers evaluated 250 active duty Canadian Forces, RCMP members and veterans. The study comes at a time when record numbers of suicides are being reported among American troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the number of suicides reported among Canadian forces last year reached its highest point since 1995.
In veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, about half also have symptoms of major depressive disorder during their lifetime, said the researchers.
But “the task of predicting which people may be at an increased risk of completing suicide is a complex and challenging care issue,” they said.
The study included 193 Canadian Forces vets, 55 active troops and two RCMP members referred to the Parkwood Hospital Operational Stress Injury Clinic in London, Ontario.
Soldiers and vets were screened for PTSD, major depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse. The depression questionnaire also included questions about suicidal thinking.
Study participants served an average of 15 years and had been deployed an average of three times. About one-fourth had been deployed to Afghanistan at least once. Ninety-two per cent were men.
Most met the criteria for “probable” PTSD, and almost three-fourths screened positive for probable major depression.
Overall, about one-fourth — 23 percent — said that they had experienced thoughts of self-harm, or that they would be better off dead, for several days over the prior two weeks.
Another 17 percent said they had those thoughts more than half of the days in the past two weeks; six percent reported feeling this way almost every day for the previous two weeks.
As found in other studies, the researchers showed that PTSD is linked to suicidal thoughts. But “what became the biggest predictor was, specifically, depression severity,” said Dr. Don Richardson, a consultant psychiatrist at the Operational Stress Injury Clinic and an adjunct professor in the department of psychiatry at Western University in London.
“It really stresses the importance that when you’re assessing someone for PTSD it’s also critical that you assess specifically for major depression,” Richardson said. “From our limited study, it was depression severity that was the most significant predictor of having suicidal ideation.”
The concern is that soldiers seeking treatment for military-related trauma might not receive aggressive therapy for depression. Instead, the focus might be more focused on PTSD and exposure therapy.
“There’s potentially a lot of people out there who are suffering who might not be aware that there are effective treatments, and that there are clinics available across Canada that specialize in military trauma,” said Richardson.
Hi I’m 15, female, 5’2 and 87. I’m completely obsessed with food. It literally rules my life. I stay up all night thinking and planning what I will eat the next day. I love making food for others but I never eat it. I find it hard to eat over 400 calories a day. I am on my feet every minute I am awake, I never sit down. I workout and exercise also. Not as much as I should. I cancel plans with my friends because I’m afraid they will make me eat or I will be confronted with food. I have constant urges to throw up but I never have. I also self harm by cutting.
I cancel all plans with friends also because I hate being social. I’m a nice person, I just get nervous around other people. I hate staying the night at other peoples’ houses because I have certain routines that I do every day.
I’m constantly sad. Nothing makes me happy. Not even going on vacations or “fun” trips to the mall or amusement park. Being with friends doesn’t make me happy, it just makes me freak out. I constantly think people are judging me. What the heck is wrong with me?? Eating disorder? Anxiety? OCD? Depression? I’ve taken many online quizzes and I’ve scored high on all of the above disorders. I haven’t been to a doctor in over a year, I’m afraid they’ll force me to gain weight and eat. I have insomnia also. Please help. I feel suicidal all the time but I’ve never attempted. I feel like I’m constantly bothering people.
A. I am sorry that you are suffering. You asked about whether you have anxiety, OCD, depression, or an eating disorder. I cannot know with certainty. What fundamentally seems to be driving your behavior is anxiety and fear.
You also seem to lack self-esteem. You are constantly worried about what other people think of you. You worry that you are “bothering people” which may indicate that you consider yourself unimportant.
You are not functioning well. Your eating or sleeping patterns are unstable and you are experiencing significant mental health symptoms, all of which are disrupting your life. You need help. Receiving help at this time is especially imperative because you admitted that you are considering suicide. People often consider suicide when they feel as though they have no other option or they don’t know what to do.
I would advise you to see a mental health professional. You should also have a physical evaluation by a medical professional to determine what damage your body has sustained. Undergoing those evaluations will help to determine your psychological and physical health status.
Accessing professional mental health treatment is the wisest and most efficient approach to your problems. Asking for help may be difficult but force yourself to do it anyway. There are many people who have had very similar problems, received help and their life has significantly improved. If you are willing to seek professional help, then you can expect the same, positive outcome. There is a great deal of hope if you are willing to seek treatment. Please take care.
Posted by psychieblogger in Depression, Elisabeth Haug, Psychology, Research, Schizophrenia, Self Awareness, Self Experience, Sense Of Self, Spectrum Disorder, Spontaneous Experience, Stages Of Schizophrenia, Stream Of Consciousness, Subtle Disturbances, Suicide, Suicide Risk, Total Population, Vital Subject on July 25, 2012
Among patients having their first schizophrenia episode, a tendency for suicide is strongly linked to an altered sense of self — what some experts have labeled as a “self-disorder,” according to a study of 49 patients with schizophrenia.
Self-disorders are abnormal personal experiences. They are described as “subtle disturbances of the person’s spontaneous experience of himself or herself as a vital subject naturally immersed in the world,” said psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Haug of the division of mental health, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Ottestad, Norway.
For the study, the researchers evaluated the relationship between self-disorders and suicide in patients who had just been diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, as suicide risk is especially great at this stage of the disease.
Researchers studied data from the Norwegian Thematically Organized Psychosis study, which used information from all mental health treatment facilities from two counties with a total population of 375,000 people.
Of the 49 adults who had been diagnosed over a 2-year period, 38 had schizophrenia , nine had schizoaffective disorder, and two had schizophreniform disorder.
All of the patients were evaluated with the Examination of Anomalous Self Experience (EASE) manual, a 57-item questionnaire that covers five factors of self-disorders: cognition and stream-of-consciousness, self-awareness and presence, bodily experiences, demarcation/transitivism, and existential reorientation.
An example question is “Have you ever felt as if thoughts in your head don’t really belong to you?” The questionnaire then asks for descriptions or examples from the patient rather than simple yes-or-no responses. Each EASE interview took 30-90 minutes.
The findings showed that patients with newly diagnosed schizophrenia spectrum disorder also had high levels of suicidality, self-disorders and high levels of depression.
“Our main finding is that of a clear association between current suicidality and (self-disorders), which appears to be mediated by depression,” said Haug and her colleagues.
This result “strongly support(s) the role of self-disorders in the development of suicidal ideation and behavior in this patient group.”
In an earlier study, other researchers found that individuals with self-disorders experience specific feelings of inferiority and solitude, which differ from normal feelings of low self-esteem or loneliness and represent “more fundamental feelings of being profoundly dissimilar to other people and thus unable to relate to others,” noted Haug.