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January 2022

Fear of suicide during sleepwalking

Journal/Book: Psychiatry. 1996; 59: 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012. Guilford Press. 206-211.

Abstract: IT is generally accepted that sleepwalking (SW) is a state of automatism in which an individual is unaware of, and has no control of, his or her behavior. Recently, Broughton et al. (1994) reported a case of a homicide and an attempted homicide during SW in which somnambulism was a legal defense and led to an acquittal. The wide variety in the clinical manifestations of SW and sleep terrors (ST) may sometimes lead to difficulties in diagnosing these treatable entities. The present case illustrates a diagnostic and clinical problem, deciding between histrionic behavior; suicidal acting out, REM-sleep behavioral disorder, and SW; and assessing the risk of suicide during SW.

Note: Article H Lauerma, Psychiat Clin, Kunnallissairaalant 20, SF-20700 Turku, Finland


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