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Panic disorder and suicidal ideation and behavior: discrepant findings in psychiatric outpatients
Am J Psychiatry 1991;148:1195-1199.
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OBJECTIVE: Previous investigators found that persons who had ever met criteria for panic disorder or panic attacks reported more lifetime suicide attempts and ideation than persons who had ever met criteria for other psychiatric disorders. To determine whether outpatients with current panic disorders also report such differences, this study examined the suicide attempt rates, levels of suicidal ideation, and levels of hopelessness among four groups of psychiatric outpatients. METHOD: Structured clinical interviews were used to assign diagnoses to 900 consecutive psychiatric outpatients. These patients were administered the Scale for Suicide Ideation and the Beck Hopelessness Scale and were also questioned in detail about previous suicide attempts and past and present suicidal ideation. RESULTS: None (0.0%) of the 73 patients with primary panic disorder without agoraphobia reported having made suicide attempts during their lifetimes. One (1.3%) of the 78 patients who had panic disorder with agoraphobia, 34 (7.0%) of the 485 patients who had mood disorders, and four (1.5%) of the 264 patients who had other psychiatric disorders reported suicide attempts. The mean scores on the Scale for Suicide Ideation and the Beck Hopelessness Scale of the patients with panic disorders and other disorders were significantly lower than the mean scores of the patients with mood disorders. CONCLUSIONS: The rates of suicidal ideation and behavior for psychiatric outpatients who had panic disorders were discrepant with those reported by the earlier group of investigators for a random community sample of persons who reported ever having had panic attacks or met criteria for panic disorders.

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