The Relationship Between Suicide Attempts and Low-Lethal Self-Harm Behavior Among Psychiatric Inpatients


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Abstract

In this study, we examined the relationship between suicide attempts and low-lethal self-harm behavior in a sample of psychiatric inpatients. Using a cross-sectional approach, we surveyed 107 participants about their histories of suicide attempts, including overdoses, as well as various low-lethal self-harm behaviors. Compared with those without such histories, individuals with histories of suicide attempts, including overdoses, were significantly more likely to report a greater number of: 1) low-lethal self-harm behaviors; 2) specific symptom clusters of self-harm behavior (i.e., self-mutilation, substance abuse, medically self-defeating behaviors); and 3) specific individual self-harm behaviors (e.g., torturing oneself with self-defeating thoughts, abusing prescription medications). These data suggest that suicide attempts and low-lethal self-harm behavior are likely to co-exist in many psychiatric inpatients.

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