Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic Pain Might Contribute To Suicidal Thoughts

Date:
November 13, 2008
Source:
Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
New research suggests that patients with chronic pain are more prone than others are to consider suicide. The increased risk remained even when study authors took the possible influence of mental illness into account.

New research suggests that patients with chronic pain are more prone than others are to consider suicide. The increased risk remained even when study authors took the possible influence of mental illness into account.

Related Articles


“This is further evidence that we need to be aware of the heightened risk for suicide in those with chronic pain,” said Mark Ilgen, lead study author. “More work is needed to figure out who’s going to be at the greatest risk and how can we intervene and decrease this risk.”

Ilgen and colleagues conducted the study to gain perspective on the link between pain and suicide in the public. Most prior research on this topic had looked only at patients already receiving treatment for their pain, said Ilgen, a psychologist at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital and assistant professor at the University of Michigan.

The researchers examined information collected during a 2001 to 2003 epidemiological survey of 5,692 English-speaking adults in the United States who answered questions about chronic pain and suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months.

The study findings appear in the November/December issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

After adjusting the figures to account for the effect of mental illness and chronic physical conditions, the researchers found that those who suffered from head pain were almost twice as likely as others to report having suicidal thoughts. They were also more than two times as likely to report suicide attempts.

Those with other types of pain not related to arthritis were four times as liable to have tried to commit suicide.

The researchers also found that almost 14 percent of those with three or more pain conditions reported suicidal thoughts and almost 6 percent of these individuals reported a suicide attempt.

“Pain is one of those factors that may make someone feel more hopeless and less optimistic about the future and increases the chances that they will think about suicide,” Ilgen said.

Still, “the vast majority of people with any of these forms of pain are not suicidal,” he said.

Thomas Joiner, a psychology professor at Florida State University who has written a book on suicide motivations, said people accustomed to pain might think they could tolerate suicide.

“The natural and deep fear of pain, injury and death stops people from hurting themselves, and this includes people who have high desire for suicide,” Joiner said. “It might not be as hard for someone who has already had to contend with a lot of physical pain.”

“This particular view has not gotten enough attention, probably because, in the public mind, a kind of fearlessness does not seem to fit with suicide. But here, the public mind is mistaken,” Joiner said.

Ilgen MA, et al. Pain and suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts in the United States. General Hosp Psychiatry, 30(6)), 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for the Advancement of Health. "Chronic Pain Might Contribute To Suicidal Thoughts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111211309.htm>.
Center for the Advancement of Health. (2008, November 13). Chronic Pain Might Contribute To Suicidal Thoughts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111211309.htm
Center for the Advancement of Health. "Chronic Pain Might Contribute To Suicidal Thoughts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111211309.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins