Posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicidal ideation in veterans: Results from the mind your heart study.Psychiatry Res. 2018 07; 265:224-230.PR
Veterans with PTSD or depression are at increased risk for suicidal ideation. However, few studies have examined that risk in those with comorbid PTSD and depression, instead focusing on these disorders individually. This study investigates the association of suicidal ideation with comorbid PTSD and depression and examines the role of military and psychosocial covariates. We evaluated 746 veterans using the CAPS to assess PTSD and the PHQ-9 to measure depression and suicidal ideation. Covariates were assessed via validated self-report measures. 49% of veterans with comorbid PTSD and depression endorsed suicidal ideation, making them more likely to do so than those with depression alone (34%), PTSD alone (11%), or neither (2%). In multivariate logistic regression models, this association remained significant after controlling for demographics and symptom severity. Anger, hostility, anxiety, alcohol use, optimism and social support did not explain the elevated risk of suicidal ideation in the comorbid group in fully adjusted models. As suicidal ideation is a known risk factor for suicide attempts and completions, veterans with comorbid PTSD and depression represent a vulnerable group who may need more intensive monitoring and treatment to reduce risk of suicide.