JE DeVylder and MR Hilimire,
Health & social work, Aug 2015
Individuals with subthreshold psychotic experiences are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior, similar to those with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. This may be explained by shared risk factors such as heightened stress sensitivity or low self-esteem. Understanding the nature of this relationship could inform suicide prevention in social work practice. In this study, authors examined the relationship between self-reported auditory hallucinations and suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts, in a nonclinical sample of young adults, controlling for scores on the Psychological Stress Index and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Auditory hallucinations were associated with approximately double the odds of suicidal ideation and plans and four times the odds for suicide attempts. This relationship was not explained by stress sensitivity or self-esteem, which were independently related to hallucinations and suicidality, respectively. Subthreshold auditory hallucinations may be a useful indicator of suicide risk. This association may represent a clinically significant relationship that may be addressed through social work interventions intended to alleviate stress sensitivity or improve self-esteem.