ORIGINAL PAPER

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 255, Issue 2, pp 152-156

Suicide attempts and impulsivity

  • E. Baca–GarciaAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Fundación Jiménez Diaz
  • , C. Diaz–SastreAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Fundación Jiménez Diaz
  • , E. García ResaAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Hospital Ramon y Cajal Universidad de Alcalá
  • , H. BlascoAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Hospital Ramon y Cajal Universidad de Alcalá
  • , D. Braquehais ConesaAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Hospital Ramon y Cajal Universidad de Alcalá
  • , M. A. OquendoAffiliated withConte Center for the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders, Dept. of Neuroscience Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , J. Saiz-RuizAffiliated withDept. of Psychiatry, Hospital Ramon y Cajal Universidad de Alcalá
  • , J. de LeonAffiliated withMental Health Research Center at Eastern State Hospital Email author 

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Abstract

Impulsivity in suicidal behavior can describe the attempt (state) or the attempter (trait). There are no studies simultaneously measuring attempt impulsivity and attempter impulsivity in representative samples of suicide attempts. A one–year study of 278 suicide attempts in a general hospital tested the continuous versus dichotomous relationship between attempter impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale) and attempt impulsivity (low scores in the planning subscale of Beck’s Suicidal Intent Scale). Attempter impulsivity was not a good predictor of attempt impulsivity independently of how both dimensions were measured (continuous or dichotomous ways). Impulsive attempts were associated with low lethality and lack of depression. Opportunities for prevention of suicide attempts in major depression and some personality traits may exist but require attentive monitoring of suicidal ideation and intent.

Key words

suicide suicide attempts impulsivity personality disorder major depression