The association between anomalous self-experience and suicidality in first-episode schizophrenia seems mediated by depression

Compr Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;53(5):456-60. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


Background: A recent hypothesis is that suicidality in schizophrenia may be linked to the patients' altered basic self-awareness or sense of self, termed self-disorders (SDs).

Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate whether SDs in first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders are related to suicidality and whether this relationship is independent of or mediated by depression or other standard clinical measures.

Method: Self-disorders were assessed in 49 patients with first-episode schizophrenia by means of the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE) instrument. Symptoms severity and functioning were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, and Global Assessment of Functioning-Split Version. Suicidality was measured by the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia item 8.

Results: Analyses detected a significant association between current suicidality, current depression, and SDs as measured by the EASE. The effect of SDs on suicidal ideation appeared to be mediated by depression.

Conclusion: The interaction between anomalous self-experiences and depression could be a rational clinical target for the prevention of suicidality in the early phases of schizophrenia and supports the rationale for including assessment of SDs in early intervention efforts.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide Prevention