Alexithymia and suicidal Behavior

Sayar K., Acar B., Ak I.

ISRAEL JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY AND RELATED SCIENCES, cilt.40, ss.165-173, 2003 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 40 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2003
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.165-173


A number of factors including hopelessness have been identified as amplifying suicide risk. Alexithymia has recently been investigated as a predictor of suicidal behavior. The prevalence of the personality trait alexithymia in suicide attempters as well as other predictors of suicidal behavior were investigated in this study. One hundred suicide attempters were compared to 60 healthy controls on the measures of hopelessness, alexithymia, depression and suicidal ideation. First-timers and repetitive suicide attempters, males and females, married and unmarried suicide attempters were compared to each other in the suicide attempter group. The correlations of hopelessness, depression and alexithymia with suicidal intent and suicide lethality were investigated. The suicide attempter group did not display significantly higher scores on the alexithymia measure, compared to healthy controls. Alexithymia neither seemed to be a prevalent personality trait in suicide attempters nor a sensitive predictor of suicidality. The subscales of Toronto Alexithymia Scale measuring difficulty in identification and expression of feelings also did not reveal a significant difference between the two groups. Suicide attempters were more depressive, more hopeless and displayed greater suicidal ideation than healthy controls. Severity of depression was a stronger predictor of suicidal intent than hopelessness in the suicide attempter group. The lethality of the suicide attempt did not correlate with any of the psychometric measures. These findings propose that difficulty in the identification and articulation of feelings does not comprise a risk factor for suicidal behavior.