Comorbid Depression and Suicide Ideation in Patients with Combat-Related PTSD: The Role of Temperament, Character, and Trait Impulsivity.Psychiatr Danub. 2017 Mar; 29(1):51-59.PD
War veterans with PTSD have a high chance of developing major depressive disorder (MDD) at some point, while they can also exhibit increased suicidal tendencies. The primary goal of this research was to investigate whether personality dimensions, including temperament, character, and trait impulsivity, were associated with comorbid MDD, as well as with suicidal ideation in psychiatric patients suffering from combat-related PTSD.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
The sample consisted of 148 Croatian male war veterans (mean age 49.53 years) treated for PTSD at the National Center for Psychotrauma, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center Zagreb. Fifty-one (34%) of them met ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for current or lifetime MDD, while 97 (66%) were diagnosed with PTSD alone. All the participants were assessed with the M.I.N.I. diagnostic interview and they completed the following battery of self-report instruments: the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II), the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R), and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11).
Comparisons between the two clinical groups showed that PTSD+MDD patients were more suicidal and differed with regard to temperament dimensions Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence and Persistence, character dimension Self-Directedness, and trait impulsivity. In three multivariate regression analyses, it was revealed that character dimension Cooperativeness as well as trait impulsivity were unique predictors of suicidal ideation, while controlling for the influence of sociodemographics, length of treatment and comorbid depression.
Combat-related PTSD patients with comorbid depression exhibit increased suicide thoughts and different personality profiles in comparison with those suffering from PTSD alone. Character dimension Cooperativeness and trait impulsivity seem to be uniquely predictive of suicide ideation in this population. Elucidation of individual psychological factors that increase the risk of MDD and suicidal tendencies in war veterans with PTSD may facilitate more effective prevention and treatment methods.