Triggers for suicidal behavior in depressed older adolescents and young adults with vs. without co-occurring alcohol use disorder
Leo Sher, M.D.
About 10 years ago, we published a research report, “Triggers for suicidal behavior in depressed older adolescents and young adults: Do alcohol use disorders make a difference?” (1). The article was published in a 2007 issue of the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.
We compared demographic and clinical features of 18-26-year-old depressed suicide attempters with or without co-occurring alcohol use disorder. We also assessed the prevalence of interpersonal triggers for suicide attempts in the two groups: a) events related to conjugal relationships; b) events related to interpersonal relationships other than conjugal; and c) events related to any interpersonal relationships (both conjugal and non-conjugal). We also compared the prevalence of a) suicide attempters who always reported only one trigger for suicide attempt (i.e., subject with a “lower suicide threshold”), and b) suicide attempters who reported at least once more than one trigger for suicide attempt (i.e., subject with a “higher suicide threshold”) in the two patient groups.
Depressed suicide attempters with comorbid alcohol use disorder had higher aggression and impulsivity scale scores and were more likely to be tobacco smokers compared to depressed suicide attempters without comorbid alcohol use disorder. We observed a trend towards higher lethality of suicide attempts in subjects with alcohol use disorder in comparison with participants without alcohol use disorder. We found no difference in the prevalence of interpersonal triggers for suicide attempts between the two groups. Also, there was no difference between the two groups with regard to the number of triggers for suicide attempts.
- Sher L, Sperling D, Stanley BH, Carballo JJ, Shoval G, Zalsman G, Burke AK, Mann JJ, Oquendo MA. Triggers for suicidal behavior in depressed older adolescents and young adults: do alcohol use disorders make a difference? Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2007;19(1):91-8.