Comfort from suicidal cognition in recurrently depressed patients
Crane C., Barnhofer T., Duggan DS., Eames C., Hepburn S., Shah D., Williams JMG.
Background Previous research has suggested that some individuals may obtain comfort from their suicidal cognitions. Method This study explored clinical variables associated with comfort from suicidal cognition using a newly developed 5 item measure in 217 patients with a history of recurrent depression and suicidality, of whom 98 were followed up to at least one relapse to depression and reported data on suicidal ideation during the follow-up phase. Results Results indicated that a minority of patients, around 15%, reported experiencing comfort from suicidal cognitions and that comfort was associated with several markers of a more severe clinical profile including both worst ever prior suicidal ideation and worst suicidal ideation over a 12 month follow-up period. Limitations Few patients self-harmed during the follow-up period preventing an examination of associations between comfort and repetition of self-harm. Conclusions These results, although preliminary, suggest that future theoretical and clinical research would benefit from further consideration of the concept of comfort from suicidal thinking. © 2013 The Authors.