Affective temperament, history of suicide attempt and family history of suicide in general practice patients

Z. Ríhmer, X. Gonda, Peter Torzsa, L. Kalabay, Hagop S. Akiskal, Ajandek Eory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Untreated major affective disorders are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour; however, clinical, psychological and psycho-social risk factors also play a contributory role. Personal history and family history of suicide are also important predictors of suicidal behaviours, and are also a powerful marker of current major depressive episode in general practice patients. Affective temperaments, which can be considered the subaffective manifestations of major mood disorders also show a specific pattern of association with suicidal behaviour. In the present study our aim was to investigate the association between affective temperaments, personal history of suicide attempts and family history of completed suicide in primary practice patients. Methods: Five hundred and nine patients from 6 primary care practices completed the TEMPS-A, and were assessed concerning self-reported history of personal or family suicide. Results: We found that among those answering questions concerning suicide, 9.1% reported a family history of suicide in first and second degree relatives and 4.8% had at least one prior suicide attempt. Among those giving a positive answer to both questions, those who had a positive family history had significantly more frequent suicide attempts (15.4% vs. 4.0%). Patients with prior suicide attempts had a significantly higher score on the cyclothymic and depressive, and those with positive family history of suicide had on cyclothymic and anxious subscales. Limitations: In the present study, personal and family history of suicide was assessed retrospectively and in a self-report way. The cross-sectional nature of this study and the facts that no current psychiatric morbidity has been investigated and only the documented history of depressive and anxiety disorders have been detected limit the generalisability of this study. Discussion: We found a significant relationship between depressive and cyclothymic affective temperament and personal history of suicide attempts, and between cyclothymic and anxious temperament and family history of completed suicide in first and second degree relatives. This is in line with previous findings showing a strong relationship between these affective temperaments and major mood episodes and that these temperaments are overrepresented among suicide attempters. Our findings also suggest that the presence of cyclothymic (and to lesser extent depressive) affective temperament in a patient with family history of completed suicide indicates a very high risk of suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume149
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

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Temperament
General Practice
Suicide
Mood Disorders
Depressive Disorder
Risk-Taking
Anxiety Disorders
Self Report

Keywords

  • Affective temperaments
  • Family history of suicide
  • Suicide
  • Suicide history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Affective temperament, history of suicide attempt and family history of suicide in general practice patients. / Ríhmer, Z.; Gonda, X.; Torzsa, Peter; Kalabay, L.; Akiskal, Hagop S.; Eory, Ajandek.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 149, No. 1-3, 07.2013, p. 350-354.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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