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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2004 Winter;34(4):386-94.

Desperation and other affective states in suicidal patients.

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  • 1American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, New York, NY 10028, USA.


Data collected from 26 therapists who were treating patients when they died by suicide were used to identify intense affective states in such patients preceding the suicide. Eleven therapists provided comparable data on 26 patients they had treated who were seriously depressed but not suicidal. Although the two groups had similar numbers diagnosed with MDD, the suicide patients showed a significantly higher total number of intense affects in addition to depression. The acute affective state most associated with a suicide crisis was desperation. Hopelessness, rage, abandonment, self-hatred, and anxiety were also significantly more frequently evidenced in the suicide patients.

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