Differential experiences during the holocaust and suicidal ideation in older adults in treatment for depression

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Abstract

Data were used on 275 Jewish individuals aged 50 and older in outpatient treatment for depression in this retrospective cross-sectional study. Holocaust survivors who were in work camps, in ghettos, or in hiding (HS-WGH) and holocaust survivors who were in concentration camps (HS-CC) were more likely to suffer posttraumatic stress disorder compared to other survivors (HS-OT) and controls. The HS-WGH and HS-CC groups had at least a threefold greater odds of suicidal ideation compared to controls. Suicidal ideation rates did not differ significantly between HS-OT group and controls. Among survivors, HS-WGH had a threefold greater odds of suicidal ideation compared to HS-OT. The results are applicable to survivors of similar atrocities and show that differing types and severities of traumatic experiences have important implications for treatment planning.

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