Suicide attempt, suicidal ideation and hopelessness levels in major depressive patients with and without alexithymia
Filiz Izci, Serkan Zincir, Selma Bozkurt Zincir, Rabia Bilici, Sakir Gica, Merve Setenay Iris Koc, Tugba Goncu, Ayse Terzi, Umit Basar Semiz
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Article No: 3   Article Type :  Research
Objective: It is known that hopelessness and alexithymia levels are increased in patients with depressive disorder. In the literature, reports are suggesting that high levels of hopelessness in patients with depressive disorder increase suicide attempts and ideations. Here we aimed to investigate whether there are any differences in terms of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and hopelessness levels in major depressive disorder patients with and without alexithymia.

Method: In this study, 99 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder according to structured interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I/CV) and 50 healthy subjects were included. Sociodemographic questionnaire, Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Scale for Suicidal Ideation (SSI) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) were administered to patients and controls. Additionally, Suicide Intent Scale (SIS) was administered to patients with suicide attempt.

Results: There was no significant difference in terms of sociodemographic data (except for the marital status) between major depressive patients with or without alexithymia and healthy controls. According to a cut off point of 61 for TAS-20, 34.3% (n=34) of the patient group was alexithymic and 65.7% (n=65) was non-alexithymic. Rate of suicide attempt was higher in the alexithymic major depressive patients (67.6%) than the non-alexithymic major depressive patients (29.2%). Mean scores of SSI and BHS were higher in alexithymic patients than non-alexithymic patients. There was a positive correlation between TAS-1 (difficulty identifying feelings), TAS-2 (difficulty expressing feelings) and BHS, SSI scores.

Conclusion: In our study, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and hopelessness levels were higher in major depression patients with alexithymia. Higher incidence of suicide attempts in major depressive patients with higher alexithymia levels and higher suicidal ideation and hopelessness levels in this group of patients suggest the possibility of alexithymia being a predictive factor for suicide attempt.
Keywords : Alexithymia, depression, hopelessness, suicide
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2015;28:27-33
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