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Suicidal behavior in schizophrenia and its relationship to awareness of illness
Am J Psychiatry 1996;153:1185-1188.
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OBJECTIVE: Suicidal behavior is prevalent in individuals with schizophrenia. Although a relationship between greater awareness of illness and suicidal behavior has been posited, the question has not been systematically studied. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between suicidal behavior and various aspects of insight in 218 patients with schizophrenia. METHOD: Patients who were participating in the DSM-IV field trial for schizophrenia were assessed with the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder and an instrument that was developed for the field trial study that measured multiple aspects of psychopathology, including suicidal behavior. RESULTS: The prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behavior found in this study was consistent with previous published reports. Schizophrenia patients with recurrent suicidal thoughts and behavior were generally more aware of their negative symptoms and delusions than were nonsuicidal patients. Contrary to expectations, general awareness of having a mental disorder did not predict suicidal behavior. CONCLUSIONS: The notion that insight may be associated with greater suicidality was partially supported.

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