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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 5, pp e303–e307 | Cite as

Recurrent suicidal ideation in young adults

  • Erika N. Dugas
  • Nancy C. Low
  • Erin K. O’Loughlin
  • Jennifer L. O’LoughlinEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

Recurrent suicidal ideation (SI) may be linked to an increased risk of making suicide plans and suicide attempts. The objectives were to describe the frequency of SI recurrence in a population-based sample of young adults, and to compare mental health diagnoses, substance use, use of health services and medication use among those with and without recurrent SI.

Methods

Data were collected from 785 participants at age 20 years and again at age 24. Chi-square tests were used to compare participants with and without recurrent SI.

Results

Of 56 participants who reported SI at age 20, 32% reported SI four years later. Thirty-nine percent of participants with recurrent SI reported poor mental health compared to 8% of participants who never reported SI; 11% (vs. 4%) had sought professional help, 44% (vs. 8%) had been diagnosed with a mood and/or anxiety disorder, and 22% (vs. 2%) had taken medication for a mental health problem. Past-year substance use was higher among those with recurrent SI than among those with no SI: 67% vs. 42% smoked cigarettes, 56% vs. 39% used other tobacco products, 89% vs. 74% binge drank, 56% vs. 42% used marijuana and 33% vs. 17% reported using illicit drugs.

Conclusion

One third of young adults with a history of SI reported SI four years later. Because SI can recur, clinicians should monitor young adults with a history of SI, assess their substance use and mood/anxiety disorders and if needed, refer them for psychological or psychiatric care.

Key Words

Longitudinal studies suicidal ideation young adult 

Résumé

Objectifs

L’idéation suicidaire (IS) récurrente peut être liée à un risque accru de faire des plans de suicide et des tentatives de suicide. Nous avons voulu décrire la fréquence de l’IS récurrente dans un échantillon populationnel de jeunes adultes et comparer les diagnostics de santé mentale, la consommation de substances, l’utilisation des services de santé et la consommation de médicaments chez les sujets avec et sans IS récurrente.

Méthode

Les données ont été recueillies auprès de 785 participants à l’âge de 20 ans et de nouveau à l’âge de 24 ans. Des tests du khi-carré ont servi à comparer les participants avec et sans IS récurrente.

Résultats

Sur les 56 participants ayant déclaré une IS à 20 ans, 32 % ont déclaré une IS quatre ans plus tard. Trente-neuf p. cent des participants ayant une IS récurrente ont dit avoir une mauvaise santé mentale, contre 8 % des participants n’ayant jamais déclaré d’IS; 11 % (c. 4 %) avaient cherché de l’aide professionnelle, 44 % (c. 8 %) avaient reçu un diagnostic de trouble de l’humeur et/ou de trouble anxieux, et 22 % (c. 2 %) avaient pris des médicaments pour un problème de santé mentale. La consommation de substances au cours de l’année écoulée était plus élevée chez les sujets ayant déclaré une IS récurrente que chez les sujets sans IS: 67 % c. 42 % fumaient la cigarette, 56 % c. 39 % consommaient d’autres produits du tabac, 89 % c. 74 % faisaient des excès occasionnels d’alcool, 56 % c. 42 % consommaient de la marijuana, et 33 % c. 17 % déclaraient avoir consommé des drogues illicites.

Conclusion

Le tiers des jeunes adultes ayant des antécédents d’IS ont déclaré une IS quatre ans plus tard. Comme l’IS peut réapparaître, les cliniciens devraient surveiller les jeunes adultes ayant des antécédents d’IS, évaluer leur consommation de substances et leurs troubles de l’humeur/leur anxiété et, au besoin, les orienter vers des soins psychologiques ou psychiatriques.

Mots Clés

études longitudinales idéation suicidaire jeune adulte 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika N. Dugas
    • 1
  • Nancy C. Low
    • 2
  • Erin K. O’Loughlin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. O’Loughlin
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry; Mental Health Service, Services for StudentsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.INDI DepartmentConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Institut national de santé publique du QuébecMontrealCanada

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