JOURNAL ARTICLE

The relationship of suicide attempt history with childhood abuse and neglect, alexithymia and temperament and character dimensions of personality in substance dependents

Cuneyt Evren, Bilge Evren
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 2006, 60 (4): 263-9
16923633
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of suicide in Turkish male substance dependents, and to investigate the relationship of suicide attempt history with childhood abuse and neglect, alexithymia, and temperament and character dimensions of personality. Participants were 154 consecutively admitted male substance dependents. Patients were investigated with the Childhood Abuse and Neglect Questionnaire, Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Among substance-dependent patients, 28.6% was considered a group with suicide attempt history (SAH). Current age was lower and rate of being single was higher in the group with SAH. There were no significant differences between groups in terms of employment, educational status and duration of education. Rates of physical, emotional abuse and neglect, self-mutilation and being alexithymic were higher and ages at first substance use and regular substance use were lower in the group with SAH. Mean scores of "difficulty in identifying feelings" (DIF) and "difficulty in describing feelings" (DDF) subscale EOT of the TAS-20 were higher in the SAH group. Among temperament and character dimensions of the TCI, only "Self-directedness" and "Cooperativeness" were lower in SAH and there were no significant differences between groups in terms of other subscales. Age and Self-directedness score of TCI were determinants for suicide attempt. In particular, young drug users with low Self-directedness scores could be the target population in order to prevent suicidal behavior. This study also suggests that in substance-dependent patients, in the background of all suicidal behavior, childhood abuse and neglect must be evaluated.

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