The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationships between alexithymia and suicidal ideation in a sample of adult outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A sample of 90 adult outpatients with DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD were tested with tested with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
35 subjects were categorized as alexithymics and showed earlier onset, longer duration of illness and more likelihood to have a chronic course than nonalexithymics; they also scored higher on the MADRS and SSI. Results of a linear regression showed that chronic OCD course together with Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 and higher MADRS scores were significantly associated with higher scores on the SSI.
Suicidal ideation is frequent among adult outpatients with OCD and is strongly related to the presence of alexithymia and depressive symptoms. Implications are discussed.