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January 2022

Alexithymia in suicide attempters

Author(s): Saarijarvi, S., Helenius, H., Keskinen, A., Korpilahti, T.

Journal/Book: Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1996; 93: 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, DK-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark. Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd. 195-198.

Abstract: Alexithymia seems to share some common features with psychological constriction, a phenomenon described in suicidal individuals. Fifty suicide attempters were interviewed within 24 h after arrival at a hospital, and measures of lethality of the attempt, suicidal intent, depression and alexithymia were carried out with structured instruments. Almost all the attempters were depressive, and about half of them were also alexithymic. However, alexithymia was not more prevalent in this population than in non-suicidal depressive patients. Depression and alexithymia correlated significantly with each other, but there was no correlation between alexithymia and lethality of the suicide attempt or suicidal intent. The authors conclude that alexithymia in suicide attempters seems to be associated with depression, but not with suicidality per se. Therefore, measurement of alexithymia may not yield extra information in suicide risk assessment.

Note: Article TJ Taiminen, Univ Turku, Cent Hosp, Dept Psychiat, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, SF-20520 Turku, Finland

Keyword(s): alexithymia; depression; suicide attempt; suicidal intent; PSYCHIATRIC-CONSULTATION; FOLLOW-UP; INTENT

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