Suicidal behavior after severe trauma. Part 1: PTSD diagnoses, psychiatric comorbidity, and assessments of suicidal behavior

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Abstract

The study comprises 149 refugees from various countries, reporting exposure to severe traumata, who were referred for psychiatric diagnosis and assessment of suicide risk. The stressors reported comprised both personal experience of and/or forced witnessing of combat atrocities (including explosions or missile impacts in urban areas), imprisonment (including isolation), torture and inflicted pain, sexual violence, witnessing others' suicide, and of summary and/or mock executions. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was diagnosed in 79% of all cases, other psychiatric illness in 16% and no mental pathology in 5%. The prevalence of suicidal behavior was significantly greater among refugees with principal PTSD diagnoses than among the remainder. PTSD patients with depression comorbidity reported higher frequency of suicidal thoughts; PTSD nondepressive patients manifested increased frequency of suicide attempts.

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