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Psychosocial Interventions for Suicide Prevention

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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00198

Depression, hopelessness and complicated grief in survivors of suicide

 Samantha Bellini1, Denise Erbuto1,  Karl Andriessen2, Mariantonietta Milelli1,  Marco Innamorati3, David Lester4,  Gaia Sampogna5,  Andrea Fiorillo5 and  Maurizio Pompili1*
  • 1Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
  • 2New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry, Australia
  • 3Università Europea di Roma, Italy
  • 4Stockton University, United States
  • 5Università degli Studi della Campania L. Vanvitelli Naples, Italy

Suicide often has a severe impact on the surviving family and friends. There is a need to better understand the psychological and psychopathological consequences of losing a loved one by suicide. To assess hopelessness, depression, suicide risk, complicated grief, intrusive memories and avoidance in a sample of suicide survivors. In this observational study, thirty-five bereaved individuals were recruited at the Suicide Prevention Centre of Sant'Andrea Hospital in Rome. Subjects were administered a series of validated instruments: Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI), the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Most survivors (62.8%) obtained high scores on measures of complicated grief. Scores on the measure of complicated grief were associated with intrusiveness of thoughts and memories, attempts to prevent the thoughts and emotions related to the event, depressive symptoms and hopelessness, lower scores for feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life. A subgroup of suicide survivors may be at risk of severe psychological distress and suicidal behavior. Identification of these survivors is a necessary step for providing appropriate counseling and psychotherapy.

Keywords: Complicated grief, Depression, Hopelessness, Suicide, Survivors

Received: 10 Oct 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Raffaella Calati, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier, France

Reviewed by:

Martin Desseilles, University of Namur, Belgium
Lucas Giner, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
LUIGI JANIRI, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
William Feigelman, Nassau Community College, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Bellini, Erbuto, Andriessen, Milelli, Innamorati, Lester, Sampogna, Fiorillo and Pompili. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Maurizio Pompili, Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy, maurizio.pompili@uniroma1.it