A comparison between severe suicidality and nonsuicidal self-injury behaviors in bipolar adolescents referred to a psychiatric emergency unit

Gabriele Masi, Ilaria Lupetti, Giulia D’acunto, Annarita Milone, Deborah Fabiani, Ursula Madonia, Stefano Berloffa, Francesca Lenzi, Maria Mucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Severe suicide ideation or attempts and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) present both differences and relevant overlaps, including frequent co-occurrence and shared risk factors. Specific categorical diagnoses, namely bipolar disorder (BD), may affect clinical features and natural histories of suicidal or not suicidal self-harm behaviour. Our study aimed to compare suicidality (severe suicidal ideation or suicidal attempts) and NSSI in referred bipolar adolescents. Methods: The sample included 95 bipolar adolescents (32 males, 63 females) aged 11 to 18 years. Thirty adolescents with suicide attempts/suicidal ideation and BD (SASIB) were compared with structured measures to 35 adolescents with NSSI and BD, without suicidal ideation or attempts (NSSIB), and to 30 adolescents with BD, without suicidal ideation or attempts or NSSI (CB). Results: Compared to CB, suicidality and NSSI were both associated with female sex, borderline personality disorder and self-reported internalizing disorders, anxiety/depression and thought disorders. The NSSI were specifically associated with somatic problems. Severe suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were associated with adverse life events, immigration, bullying, eating disorders, social problems, depressive feelings, performance and social anxiety, and feelings of rejection. Conclusions: Both shared and differential features between suicidal and not suicidal adolescents may represent possible targets for diagnostic and preventative interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number790
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Non-suicidal self-injuries
  • Suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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