The aim of this present study was to compare the characteristics of suicidal attempts of patients with major depression (MD) and adjustment reaction (AR).
Sixty-nine patients with MD and 86 with AR admitted to the Moscow Institute of Emergency Help after the first suicide attempts were studied. All the attempters were interviewed by at least by two psychiatrists and the diagnosis was made according to agreement and to ICD-9CM criteria.
Differences between the two groups were found with regard to social-demographic, clinical-psychological and suicidal characteristics: the AR patients were less educated, had lower social status and in most cases were unmarried, compared with the MD patients. A large number (51.2% of the attempters in the AR group and 34.8% in the MD group) had an unstable parental family, early orphanhood or an emotionally deprived childhood. No differences were found in the methods of the suicidal attempts between the groups. Suicidal attempts under alcohol abuse occurred more often among the AR group (34.9 vs. 10.1%). The interval from the beginning of the disorder until the suicidal attempt was significantly shorter within the AR group. In this group the suicidal attempts were not planned, in comparison with the MD group.
The sample is a selected study, because the research included only inpatients with AR and MD after their first suicidal attempt.
We believe that our data may be important for improving the assessment of suicidal risk and in planning treatment strategies for prevention of repeated suicidal attempts.
Unrecognized, untreated and undertreated depressive disorders incur inordinate human and economic costs, despite the availability of an exclusive array of clinical interventions. The aim of this study was to identify cases of masked depression in primary health care, employing a two-stage design. In the first stage, involving a study of 442 patients, the prevalence of recognized depression was 1.8%. In the second step, 62 patients from stage 1 were investigated further because of their high score on somatization tendency. In total, 41 of the 62 patients were found to have a mood disorder according to DSM-III-R, i.e. a major depressive disorder or dysthymia. Two patients were found to have already had a diagnosis of major depression assigned to them in stage 1, but they were joined by 13 more patients. A further 26 patients were found to be suffering from dysthymia, nine had adjustment disorders with depressed mood, and 12 patients showed no signs of depressed mood. For the group suffering from a current episode of major depression or dysthymia, the prevalence rate increased to 11.7% in the initial total population after stage 2. The diagnostic category with the highest rate of depressed patients was 'musculoskeletal diseases'. Patients with masked depression had higher scores for alexithymia and psychasthenia than depressed patients who were directly diagnosed.
Fourteen months after the 2004 tsunami, mental health outcome was assessed in 187 bereaved relatives, 308 bereaved friends, and in 3,020 nonbereaved Swedish survivors. Of the bereaved relatives, 41% reported posttraumatic stress reactions and 62% reported impaired general mental health. Having been caught or chased by the tsunami in combination with bereavement was associated with increased posttraumatic stress reactions. Complicated grief reactions among relatives were almost as frequent as posttraumatic stress reactions. The highest levels of psychological distress were found among those who had lost children. Traumatic bereavement, in combination with exposure to life danger, is probably a risk factor for mental health sequelae after a natural disaster.
The children who experienced their parents' divorce when the divorce rate in Sweden had begun to grow to higher levels than in preceding decades are today adults. The aim of this study was to investigate if adults who had experienced parental divorce 15 years before the time of our study, differed in mental health from those with continuously married parents, taking into account life events other than the divorce. Instruments used were the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) measuring mental health and the Life Event questionnaire capturing the number and experience of occurred events. Forty-eight persons, who were 7-18 years old when their parents divorced, constituted the divorce group, and 48 persons matched on age, sex and growth environment formed the study groups. The SCL-90 showed a limited difference between the groups, but not concerning total mental health. A main finding was a difference with regard to sex and age; women aged 22-27 in the divorce group displayed poorer mental health than other participants in both groups. The results from the Life Event questionnaire showed that the divorce group had experienced a significantly larger number of events, and more life events were described as negative with difficult adjustment. A regression analysis showed a significant relation between the SCL-90, Global Severity Index and life events experienced as negative with difficult adjustment, divorce events excluded, but not with the divorce itself. It seems highly desirable to pay more attention than has thus far been paid to girls with experience of childhood divorce at age 7-12.
To determine the prevalence and clinical significance of a mixed anxiety-depressive (MAD) syndrome in primary care, a two-stage sampling design was applied to 796 consecutive clinic attendees without known psychiatric illness. Among 78 systematically interviewed subjects, 10.3% (n = 8) had a depressive disorder alone, 12.8% (n = 10) had an anxiety disorder alone, 19.2% (n = 15) had a comorbid anxiety and depressive disorder and 12.8% (n = 10) had a combination of subsyndromal anxiety and depressive features that fulfilled either ICD-10 or our own operational criteria for MAD. Patients with MAD rated their disability as being comparable to that of patients with anxiety or depressive disorders. These findings lend support to the notion that there is a sizeable subgroup of patients in primary care who appear to be suffering from a psychiatric syndrome with an admixture of subsyndromal depressive and anxiety features. Questions about the temporal stability of MAD and preferred approaches to treatment have yet to be answered.
This study examines possible risk factors associated with child adjustment in a sample of children with alcohol abusing fathers in Norway (N = 37). Factors included are socio-economic status, severity of the fathers' alcohol abuse, parental psychological problems, and family functioning. Children of alcohol abusing fathers were found to have more adjustment problems assessed by CBCL compared to a general population sample. The findings further suggest that child adjustment in families with paternal alcohol abuse is the result of an accumulation of risk factors rather than the effects of the paternal alcohol abuse alone. Both general environmental risk factors (psychological problems in the fathers, family climate, family health and conflicts) and environmental factors related to the parental alcohol abuse (severity of the alcohol abuse, the child's level of exposure to the alcohol abuse, changes in routines and rituals due to drinking) were related to child adjustment. The results indicate the need to obtain both parents' assessments of child adjustment, as the fathers' assessment was associated with different risk factors compared to the mothers'.
To determine the prevalence of major depressive disorder in acutely ill medical inpatients, and the relationship of this to low self-esteem.
A total of 186 patients were interviewed 6 or 7 days following admission to detect the presence of DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients were assessed using a new brief psychiatric interview, the Silverstone Concise Assessment for Depression (SCAD), which has previously been validated for use in the physically ill. The cognitive function of the patients was measured, using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), with patients scoring less than 22 on the MMSE being excluded from the study. The patients' self-esteem was also assessed, using the Rosenberg self-esteem rating scale. The severity and type of the patients' medical illness, and the recognition of psychiatric illness by both nurses and physicians were also noted.
The results showed that 18 patients (9.7%) were depressed. The depressed patients were significantly younger than the nondepressed patients (mean age 46.3 +/- 3.9 years versus 57.1 +/- 1.5 years, respectively) and were significantly more likely to be female (61% versus 44%, respectively). The depressed patients had a significantly lower self-esteem than the nondepressed patients, whose self-esteem was no different from the general population. However, the depressed patients were not more severely ill than the nondepressed patients. The results also demonstrated that both nurses and physicians were poor at recognizing the presence of major depression, with nurses recognizing 33% of cases compared to 22% for medical staff.
The results from this study demonstrate that while there is an increase in the incidence of depression in medically ill patients, this is not as great as has been previously reported, and is not related to severity of illness. The results from this study, therefore, are in keeping with other recent findings which show that the prevalence rates for MDD in medical patients is between 5% to 10% rather than the previously accepted range of 20% to 40%.
Comment In: Can J Psychiatry. 1996 Mar;41(2):65-68705964
BACKGROUND: Few studies have explored the long-term mental health consequences of disaster losses in bereaved, either exposed to the disaster themselves or not. This study examined the prevalence and predictors of mental disorders and psychological distress in bereaved individuals either directly or not directly exposed to the 2004 tsunami disaster. METHOD: A cross-sectional study of 111 bereaved Norwegians (32 directly and 79 not directly exposed) was conducted 2 years postdisaster. We used a face-to-face structured clinical interview to diagnose current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression (major depressive disorder, MDD) and a self-report scale to measure prolonged grief disorder (PGD). RESULTS: The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was twice as high among individuals directly exposed to the disaster compared to individuals who were not directly exposed (46.9 vs. 22.8 per 100). The prevalence of disorders among the directly exposed was PTSD (34.4%), MDD (25%), and PGD (23.3%), whereas the prevalence among the not directly exposed was PGD (14.3%), MDD (10.1%), and PTSD (5.2%). The co-occurrence of disorders was higher among the directly exposed (21.9 vs. 5.2%). Low education and loss of a child predicted PGD, whereas direct exposure to the disaster predicted PTSD. All three disorders were independently associated with functional impairment. CONCLUSIONS: The dual burden of direct trauma and loss can inflict a complex set of long-term reactions and mental health problems in bereaved individuals. The relationship between PGD and impaired functioning actualizes the incorporation of PGD in future diagnostic manuals of psychiatric disorders.
CONTEXT: It has been suggested that the risk of inpatient psychiatric readmissions is elevated during the postpartum period. To our knowledge, no prior study has compared mothers and nonmothers to determine whether the risk of readmission differs between these 2 groups of women. OBJECTIVES: To compare mothers and nonmothers to assess whether childbirth increases the risk for psychiatric readmission and to identify predictors of psychiatric readmission during the postpartum period. DESIGN: A population-based cohort study merging data from the Danish Civil Registration System and the Danish Psychiatric Central Register. SETTING: The population of Denmark. PARTICIPANTS: Two partly overlapping study populations included a total of 28 124 women, 10 218 of whom were mothers, who were followed up from January 1, 1973, through June 30, 2005. Main Outcome Measure Readmission rates to psychiatric hospitals during the 12 months after childbirth (first live-born child). RESULTS: The period of highest risk of psychiatric readmission in new mothers was 10 to 19 days post partum (relative risk [RR], 2.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.68-4.37), and the period of lowest risk was during pregnancy (0.54; 0.43-0.69). Childbirth was associated with an increased risk of readmission during the first postpartum month, after which risk for readmission was higher among nonmothers (RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.31-1.80). A previous diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder was the strongest predictor of readmissions 10 to 19 days post partum (RR, 37.22; 95% CI, 13.58-102.04). In all, 26.9% of mothers with this diagnosis were readmitted within the first postpartum year. CONCLUSIONS: Mothers with mental disorders have lower readmission rates compared with women with mental disorders who do not have children. However, the first month after childbirth is associated with increased risk of psychiatric readmission, and women with a history of bipolar affective disorder are at particular risk of postpartum psychiatric readmissions.