Two sides of the same coin? Empirical examination of two proposed characterizations of acute suicidal crises: Suicide crisis syndrome and acute suicidal affective disturbance

Megan L. Rogers, Min Eun Jeon, Sifan Zheng, Jenelle A. Richards, Thomas E. Joiner, Igor Galynker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two proposed suicide-specific diagnoses, with accumulating research support, characterize the phenomenology of acute suicidal crises: Suicide Crisis Syndrome (SCS) and Acute Suicidal Affective Disturbance (ASAD). Despite conceptual overlap and some similar criteria, the two syndromes have never been compared empirically. The present study addressed this gap by examining SCS and ASAD utilizing a network analysis approach. A sample of 1568 community-based adults (87.6% cisgender women, 90.7% White, Mage = 25.60 years, SD = 6.59) in the United States completed an online battery of self-report measures. SCS and ASAD were first examined in individual network models, followed by a combined network to determine changes in network structure, as well as identify bridge symptoms that connected SCS and ASAD. The proposed criteria of SCS and ASAD formed sparse network structures that were largely unaffected by the influence of the other syndrome in a combined network. Social disconnection/withdrawal and manifestations of overarousal—particularly agitation, insomnia, and irritability—emerged as bridge symptoms that may connect SCS and ASAD. Our findings indicate the network structures of SCS and ASAD exhibit patterns of independence, alongside interdependence between overlapping symptom domains (i.e., social withdrawal, overarousal). Future work should examine SCS and ASAD prospectively to better understand their temporal dynamics and predictive utility in relation to imminent suicide risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume162
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Acute suicidal affective disturbance
  • Suicide
  • Suicide crisis syndrome

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