Coping mechanisms, depression and suicidal risk among patients suffering from idiopathic epilepsy

Int J High Risk Behav Addict. Winter 2013;1(4):178-82. doi: 10.5812/ijhrba.8621. Epub 2013 Mar 12.


Background: Depression disorder is the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorder associated with epilepsy, and a correlation has been detected between depression and suicide. There is a relationship between suicidal behavior and coping mechanisms; therefore, it is important to undertake psychoanalytic psychotherapy to reduce depressive symptoms.

Objectives: To evaluate the Coping Mechanisms, Depression and Suicidal Risk among Patients Suffering from Idiopathic Epilepsy.

Materials and methods: The present study is a cross-sectional pilot study in which 93 Iranian patients with idiopathic epilepsy were selected from Qaem hospital and neurological clinics. They answered three questionnaires: BDI, SSI, and a questionnaire of coping mechanisms. Patients were then interviewed and divided into two groups: patients with depression and suicidal ideation, and patients without depression and suicidal ideation. The two groups were compared in terms of coping mechanisms.

Results: Among the patients who filled the questionnaires, only 74 were selected for the interview. 58.9% of the patients did not have depression or suicidal ideation and 23.3% of them had either depression or suicidal ideation. Findings of the study showed that the two groups had a significant difference in terms of repressive coping method efficiency (P = 0.022). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of problem-focused coping method (P = 0.25) and the emotion-focused coping method efficacy (P = 0.31).

Conclusions: Iranian patients with idiopathic epilepsy and with either depression or suicidal ideation, make significant improvement using repressive coping method in comparison to patients with idiopathic epilepsy who did not suffer from depression or suicidal ideation. The effect of other coping mechanisms was not significantly different between the two groups.

Keywords: Coping Skills; Depression; Epilepsy; Suicide.