Mental Disorders, Comorbidity, and Suicidal Behavior: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication
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CitationNock, Matthew K., Irving Hwang, Nancy A. Sampson. 2009. Mental disorders, comorbidity, and suicidal behavior: results from the national comorbidity survey replication. Molecular Psychiatry (March 31), doi:10.1038/mp.2009.29.
AbstractMental disorders are among the strongest predictors of suicide attempts. However, little is known about which disorders are uniquely associated with suicidal behavior due to high levels of psychiatric comorbidity. We examined the unique associations between individual disorders and subsequent suicidal behavior (suicide ideation, plans, and attempts) using data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey of 9,282 US adults. Results revealed that approximately 80% of suicide attempters in the US have a temporally prior mental disorder. Anxiety, mood, impulse-control, and substance disorders all significantly predict subsequent suicide attempts in bivariate analyses (odds ratios=2.7-6.7); however, these associations decrease substantially in multivariate analyses controlling for comorbidity (odds ratios=1.5-2.3) but remain statistically significant in most cases. Disaggregation of the observed effects reveals that depression predicts suicide ideation, but not suicide plans or attempts among those with ideation. Instead, disorders characterized by severe anxiety/agitation (e.g., PTSD) and poor impulse-control (e.g., conduct disorder, substance disorders) predict which suicide ideators go on to make a plan or attempt. These results advance understanding of the unique associations between mental disorders and different forms of suicidal behavior. Future research must further delineate the mechanisms through which people come to think about suicide and progress from suicidal thoughts to attempts.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4133811
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