Suicidal ideation in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Psychiatry Res. 2010 Jan 30;175(1-2):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.03.012. Epub 2009 Nov 17.


The risk factors for suicidal behaviour in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been less studied compared than in other anxiety disorders. In the present study, we examined the demographic and clinical correlates of current suicidal ideation (SI) in patients with OCD. Forty-four patients were grouped into those with (n=23) and without current SI (n=21) as assessed by the Scale for Suicidal Ideation. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used to assess the obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptomatology. Following Bonferroni correction, only the severity of depression differed significantly between the two groups. The presence of major depression and aggressive obsessions, the level of hopelessness, and the severity of OC symptomatology were significant predictors of current SI in patients with OCD. The relatively low frequency of some comorbid Axis I disorders is based on small sample size and therefore may be vulnerable to type II error. We did not examine the relationship between the recent suicidal attempts and OCD. Also, we did not assess the effect of impulsivity in the occurrence of SI in patients with OCD. Associated depression, hopelessness, and aggressive obsessions might play an important role in the occurrence of SI in patients with OCD. However, future studies with a psychological autopsy design are required to systematically determine the presence for OCD among those who have completed suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult