Psychopathology among suicide attempters: A cross-sectional study

B. Muralidhara Yadiyal, G. Aruna

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The National Crime Record Bureau reports suicide to be among the top ten causes of death & among top three in the 16-35years age group, making suicide, clearly, a major public health concern. But still, the various paradigm of meanings underlying suicide is hardly explored by researchers, more so in the Indian scenario. This viewpoint makes this current study a needed one. Aims Our study aims to explore the possible underlying psychopathology, if any, among a group of suicide attempters,around the time of attempt, after stabilization of physical parameters. Method A total of 51 consecutive individuals who made serious suicide attempts (n=51), over a one year period were taken as the study group & their sociodemographic details collected. Each subject was then assessed for presence of any psychopathology by trained personnel using the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) for Axis I Disorders. Frequencies of psychiatric diagnosis associated with each category of response was then tabulated. Result Of the 51patients who attempted suicide, 33.33% of them could be diagnosed to have depression (unipolar more than other depression), 7.84% of sample population qualified for substance abuse or dependence & 5.8% had some form of somatoform disorder. Subjects having psychosis, anxiety disorder & impulse control disorder were relatively small (about -1.96% each). A significant 46.92% of study population was coded under Adjustment disorder, V code, or no diagnosis at the time of attempt. Conclusion Depression was the most common single diagnosis in suicide attempters followed by substance use & somatoform disorder, but still, 46.92% of patients did not meet criteria for any Axis-I psychiatric disorder around the time of attempt (Adjustment disorder, V code, No diagnosis). Socio cultural risk factors including stressors & negative events, may account for the reason for suicide attempt, which have not been assessed in this study. This finding is in keeping with other studies done in India, or Asian subcontinent, but not consistent with findings from Western studies which report a very high percentage of psychopathology (77-90%) among suicide attempters & completed suicides. This further makes research in this area necessary & relevant, especially in the Indian scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Law


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