Friday, June 19, 2015

Suicidal thoughts in a chronic medical condition

A recent study looked at the predictors of suicidal thoughts in people with multiple sclerosis, which is a neurological condition characterized by inflammatory lesions occurring at different times and in different locations in the central nervous system. This work was summarized in a blog called "Everyday Health" and also in the Psychiatric Times. The frequency of suicidal ideation increased with age, which may reflect the increasing burden of such conditions as people get older. Also, the suicidal ideation was more severe in those with very difficult symptoms  to manage, such as bladder and bowel symptoms or difficulty swallowing. But, it is not just a situation of having to deal with difficult problems. The ways in which people coped with problems was also important. For example, those with emotionally focussed coping strategies (looking for ways to avoid painful emotions) had more suicidal ideation that those that used solution-oriented or problem solving strategies. A link the study can be found here.

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