A study of deliberate self-poisoning in patients with adjustment disorders

I Mitrev
Folia Medica 1996, 38 (3): 11-6
A sample of 140 patients (34 men and 106 women), hospitalized for deliberate self-poisoning in a toxicological clinic, was evaluated clinically and by Pöldinger's risk list for assessment of suicidality. All subjects met the criteria of DSM-IV adjustment disorder with no additional Axis I and Axis II comorbidity. 18% of the patients had a chronic adjustment disorder. The most common problems on Axis IV were those with the primary support group (especially in women). Occupational and economic problems were more frequent in men than in women. Most of the studied subjects undertook the suicidal attempt impulsively. Suicidal thoughts after deliberate self-poisoning persist in only 11% of the patients. The suicidal risk measured by Pöldinger's risk list for assessment of suicidality was negligible in 4/5 of the cases. The suicidal risk was higher in patients with chronic adjustment disorder and in patients with previous suicide attempts. The most represented age group - from 15 to 19 years old showed the highest suicidal risk. In women the suicidal risk increased with age. Women with impulsive suicide attempt showed a lower suicidal risk than women with a non-impulsive suicide attempt. A cathartic and abreactive effect of the suicide attempt was detected, but this effect only partially accounts for the relatively low percentage of suicidal thoughts after the suicidal act and the insignificant suicidal risk in 4/5 of the studied subjects.

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