Differences in reasons for taking overdoses in high and low hopelessness groups.
Thirty-five people admitted to hospital following deliberate self-harm by overdose were interviewed. Patients rated several 'reasons' for making the attempt on 0-10-point scales. The 'reasons' used were those derived by Bancroft and his associates (e.g. find out if someone loved me, make people understand how desperate I was feeling). The patients also completed Beck et al.'s Hopelessness Scale. High hopelessness was associated with an increased wish 'to die' and 'to get relief from a terrible state of mind' but high and low hopelessness did not differentiate between other reasons, even the traditionally 'manipulative' ones. The intercorrelations between reasons suggested that in low hopelessness interpersonal reasons were the most central constructs, whereas in the high hopelessness patients, the escape motive was the most central.