JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Does writing about suicidal thoughts and feelings reduce them?

Stacey H Kovac, Lillian M Range
Suicide & Life-threatening Behavior 2002, 32 (4): 428-40
12501967
To assess whether writing with cognitive change or exposure instructions reduces depression or suicidality, 121 undergraduates screened for suicidality wrote for 20 minutes on 4 days over 2 weeks. They were randomly assigned to reinterpret or to write and rewrite traumatic events/emotions, or to write about innocuous topics. The three groups (N = 98) who completed pre-, post-, and 6-week follow-up were not different on suicidality or depression. All subjects reported fewer automatic negative thoughts over the 2 weeks; they also reported higher self-regard but more health center visits at follow-up. Suicidal thoughts may be more resistant than physical health to writing interventions.

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