There is a gap in the literature regarding suicide risk among traumatized individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and this article aims to systematically review literature on the relationship between PTSD and suicidal behavior and ideation. A meta-analysis of 50 articles that examined the association between PTSD and past and current suicidal ideation and behavior was conducted. There was no evidence for an increased risk of completed suicide in individuals with PTSD. PTSD was associated with an increased incidence of prior attempted suicide and prior and current suicidal ideation. Controlling for other psychiatric disorders (including depression) weakened, but did not eliminate, this association. The evidence indicates that there is an association between PTSD and suicidality with several factors, such as concurrent depression and the pre-trauma psychiatric condition, possibly mediating this relationship. There are significant clinical implications of the reported relationship for suicide risk assessment and therapy, and further studies might help to understand the mediating pathways between PTSD and increased suicide risk.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Psychiatric comorbidity
- Suicide risk