Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts: Comorbidity with depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorder

  • T. Bronisch
  • H. -U. Wittchen
Original Paper

Abstract

The effect of comorbidity on rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts from an adult general population of former West Germany is investigated. The assessment instrument is a modified German version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), a fully standardized interview for the assessment of selected DSM-III lifetime diagnoses as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Of the general population 4.1% (2.2% male and 4.1% female) made suicide attempts during their lifetime. Only 2 of 18 people who attempted suicide did not meet criteria for a DSM-III-R diagnosis. Cases with pure major depression did not have an odds ratio for suicide attempts significantly higher than subjects with no DSM-III diagnosis. However, cases with both a major depression and a lifetime-anxiety-disorder diagnosis showed significantly elevated odds ratios. Therefore, it is suggested that comorbidity of anxiety and depression, and not depression itself, seems to be a risk factor for suicide attempts.

Key words

Epidemiology Suicidal ideation Suicide attempts Comorbidity 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Bronisch
    • 1
  • H. -U. Wittchen
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical InstituteMax Planck Institute of PsychiatryMunichGermany

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