Characteristics of suicidal attempts in major depression versus adjustment reactions

Inessa Polyakova, Haim Y. Knobler, Aina Ambrumova, Vladimir Lerner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Scopus citations


    Background: The aim of this present study was to compare the characteristics of suicidal attempts of patients with major depression (MD) and adjustment reaction (AR). Method: Sixty-nine patients with MD and 86 with AR admitted to the Moscow Institute of Emergency Help after the first suicide attempts were studied. All the attempters were interviewed by at least by two psychiatrists and the diagnosis was made according to agreement and to ICD- 9CM criteria. Results: Differences between the two groups were found with regard to social-demographic, clinical-psychological and suicidal characteristics: the AR patients were less educated, had lower social status and in most cases were unmarried, compared with the MD patients. A large number (51.2% of the attempters in the AR group and 34.8% in the MD group) had an unstable parental family, early orphanhood or an emotionally deprived childhood. No differences were found in the methods of the suicidal attempts between the groups. Suicidal attempts under alcohol abuse occurred more often among the AR group (34.9 vs. 10.1%). The interval from the beginning of the disorder until the suicidal attempt was significantly shorter within the AR group. In this group the suicidal attempts were not planned, in comparison with the MD group. Limitation: The sample is a selected study, because the research included only inpatients with AR and MD after their first suicidal attempt. Conclusion: We believe that our data may be important for improving the assessment of suicidal risk and in planning treatment strategies for prevention of repeated suicidal attempts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-167
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
    Issue number1-3
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


    • Adjustment reaction
    • Major depression
    • Suicidal attempt

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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