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There is plenty of literature that speaks PTSD and suicide behaviors, such as suicidal ideas, attempts, and plans that are increased among those who have experienced some sort of trauma or negative life event. Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and completed suicide  have been found to be higher among those who have been diagnosed with PTSD or Post traumatic Stress Disorder either in the past or recently. The rates of PTSD and suicide attempts, or PTSD and suicide behaviors among those who have been diagnosed with PTSD and depression have been estimated to range from 22% to 56% and 8% to 32%, respectively. PTSD and suicide behaviors have been found to be uniquely associated. In addition, research has suggested that individuals that have been diagnosed as having PTSD and depression also correlates highly with experiencing suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Comorbid PTSD and depression are a strong predictor for suicidal ideas. Recently, in a meta-analysis, the results had indicated that the comorbid PTSD and depression may account for the association between PTSD and suicide. Feelings of hopelessness has  has found to been a strong psychological risk factor for suicidal thoughts in a variety of clinical populations that include those who have PTSD and depression. There has also been evidence that hopelessness and depression overlap in concept with feeling trapped and defeated.  People who experience PTSD and depression often feel trapped in their re-experiencing of the traumatic event and hopeless about overcoming their symptoms.  Together, such feelings may increase the risk for those with PTSD and suicidal thoughts to act on their suicidal thoughts as a way to escape from the pain these individuals experience.

Individuals with PTSD and suicidal behaviors were recruited using various adverts such as newspaper and online advertising, posters located in mental health services like Rape Crisis Center, asking for individuals to volunteer who had experienced traumatic events such as serious accidents, crime, military combat, terrorist attack, natural disaster, physical threat, or diagnosed with a life-threatening illnesses in the past, and have been affected by such. Potential PTSD and suicidal participants were then sent via email or post a self-report measure, the Post Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale in order to assess if they had met the inclusion criteria for PTSD and suicidal behavior. The participants who returned the PDS scale and met the inclusion criteria of PTSD and suicidal behaviors then proceed to completing the full assessment.

A recent study also examined whether feelings of being trapped and hopeless would predict changes in the levels of suicidal thoughts in those who were diagnosed with PTSD and depression. The results stated that entrapment and defeat scores did predict changes in the levels of suicidal thoughts at follow-up. Evidence was then obtained that entrapment and defeat predicts the relationship between PTSD and suicidal thoughts. These recent findings provide strong support for the view theory that perceptions of entrapment and defeat are core drivers of suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors among those diagnosed with PTSD and depression.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods for PTSD and suicidal behaviors.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of PTSD and suicide, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for PTSD and suicide, depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.