Self-injurious behavior and attempted suicide in purging bulimia nervosa: associations with psychiatric comorbidity

Angela Favaro, Paolo Santonastaso, Palmiero Monteleone, Laura Bellodi, Mauro Mauri, Alessandro Rotondo, Stefano Erzegovesi, Mario Maj
Journal of Affective Disorders 2008, 105 (1): 285-9

BACKGROUND: Few studies, to date, have investigated the relationship between self-damaging behavior and the presence of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses in eating disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the axis I and II comorbidity in subjects with bulimia nervosa who report self-injurious behavior and/or suicide attempt.

METHODS: The subjects were 95 patients with purging type bulimia nervosa who underwent a clinical evaluation assessing the presence of self-injurious behavior and suicide attempts, comorbidity for axis I and II psychiatric disorders and temperament.

RESULTS: No axis I diagnosis was associated with any type of self-injurious behavior, whereas social phobia and bipolar disorder were linked to attempted suicide. Significant independent predictors of impulsive self-injurious behavior were the presence of childhood sexual abuse, high harm avoidance scores, and high self-transcendence scores, whereas childhood sexual abuse, the presence of a cluster B personality disorder, and a low self-directedness were predictors of suicide attempts. Compulsive self-injurious behavior was significantly associated with harm avoidance and cluster C personality disorders. Harm avoidance was also associated with skin picking.

CONCLUSIONS: Personality disorders are a frequent correlate of the presence of SIB in purging bulimia nervosa. However, temperament seems to play a more important role. Further studies on larger samples are necessary to confirm our findings in bulimia nervosa and to extend them to other patient populations.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"