Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Among Male Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Seeking Treatment for PTSD

Citation:

Kimbrel, Nathan A., Margaret E. Johnson, Carolina Clancy, Michael Hertzberg, Claire Collie, Elizabeth E. Van Voorhees, Michelle F. Dennis, Patrick S. Calhoun, and Jean C. Beckham. 2014. “Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Among Male Iraq/Afghanistan-Era Veterans Seeking Treatment for PTSD.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 27 (4): 474–77. doi:10.1002/jts.21932.

Authors: Patrick S. Calhoun, Carolina Clancy, Claire Collie, Michelle F. Dennis, Michael Hertzberg, Margaret E. Johnson, Nathan A. Kimbrel, Elizabeth E. Van Voorhees, Jean C. Beckham

Abstract:

The objectives of the present research were to examine the prevalence of deliberate self-harm (DSH) among 214 U.S. male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to evaluate the relationship between DSH and suicidal ideation within this population. Approximately 56.5% (n = 121) reported engaging in DSH during their lifetime; 45.3% (n = 97) reported engaging in DSH during the previous 2 weeks. As hypothesized, DSH was a significant correlate of suicidal ideation among male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, OR = 3.88, p < .001, along with PTSD symptom severity, OR = 1.03, p < .001, and combat exposure, OR = 0.96, p = .040. A follow-up analysis identified burning oneself, OR = 17.14, p = .017, and hitting oneself, OR = 7.93, p < .001, as the specific DSH behaviors most strongly associated with suicidal ideation. Taken together, these findings suggest that DSH is quite prevalent among male Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans seeking treatment for PTSD and is associated with increased risk for suicidal ideation within this population. Routine assessment of DSH is recommended when working with male Iraq/Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment for PTSD.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Health, Mental Health, Trauma Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2014

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