Nightmares predict elevated suicidal symptoms

Jun 09, 2009

Self-reported nightmares among patients seeking emergency psychiatric evaluation uniquely predicted elevated suicidal symptoms. Results indicate that severe nightmares were independently associated with elevated suicidal symptoms after accounting for the influence of depression, whereas symptoms of insomnia were not. These findings suggest that nightmares stand alone as a suicide risk factor.

The sample included 82 men and women between the ages of 18 and 66, who were in a community mental health hospital admissions unit awaiting an emergency psychiatric evaluation. Evaluations determined eligibility for crisis stabilization inpatient admittance. Patients' nightmares, insomnia, depression and suicidal tendencies were assessed through several questionnaires, including the Disturbing Dreams and Nightmare Severity Index, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS).

According to principal investigator, Rebecca Bernert, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Florida State University, findings of the study emphasize the need for a more thorough assessment of among acutely-ill patients, as it may be an important opportunity for intervention.

", especially nightmares, appear to be an acute warning sign and risk factor for suicide," said Bernert. "Given that poor sleep is amenable to treatment, and less stigmatized than and suicide, our findings could impact standardized suicide risk assessment and prevention efforts."

The study states that sleep complaints are now listed among the top 10 warning signs of suicide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (news : web)

Explore further: Combination of diabetes and heart disease substantially reduces life expectancy

Related Stories

Sleep disturbances among the elderly linked to suicide

Jun 14, 2007

Self-reported sleep complaints among the elderly serve as a risk factor for completed suicide, according to a research abstract that will be presented Thursday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional ...

Study links ADHD with sleep problems in adolescents

May 01, 2009

A study in the May 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that adolescents with a childhood diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have current and lifetime sleep problems and disorders, regard ...

'Night owls' report more insomnia-related symptoms

Apr 15, 2007

Those persons who are labeled a “night owl” report more pathological symptoms related to insomnia, despite many having the opportunity to compensate for their nocturnal sleeplessness by extending their time in bed and ...

Recommended for you

WHO says too few countries taxing tobacco products enough

2 hours ago

Taxing cigarettes up to 75 percent of their retail price is among the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, but too few governments levy high enough taxes, according to a World Health Organization global report released ...

Can four fish oil pills a day keep the doctor away?

3 hours ago

Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the U.S. because of the perceived cardiovascular benefits of the omega-3 it contains. However, scientific findings on its effectiveness have been conflicting. New ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.