Relationship between self-disclosure and serious suicidal behavior

A. Apter, N. Horesh, D. Gothelf, H. Graffi, E. Lepkifker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to predict which suicidal patient is at high risk for a serious attempt is an important clinical problem. On the basis of our clinical research, we hypothesized that self-disclosure may be an important personality variable differentiating suicide attempters and completers. We assessed 80 patients with depressive disorder, divided into four groups of 20 each: suicidal ideation only, nonserious suicide attempts, severe suicide attempts, and no suicidal behavior. Comparisons were also made with 20 healthy controls. All subjects completed Jourad's Self-Disclosure Questionnaire (JSDQ), as well as scales measuring depression/anxiety and hopelessness. The lack of willingness for self-disclosure significantly differentiated the serious attempters from the suicide ideators and mild attempters. The relationship of self-disclosure and more lethal suicide attempts did not appear to be mediated by depression, anxiety, or hopelessness. This preliminary study indicates that self-disclosure may be a promising field for assessment, therapy, and prevention in suicidal patients. Further studies are needed to investigate related variables, wider patients groups, and the use of different instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


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