Adolescent suicide is a worldwide troubling phenomenon that has high comorbidity, including impulsivity, depression, and personality disorders. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) includes attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Comorbidity includes depression and substance abuse, and has a higher rate in adolescents and adults. Studies considering the association between these phenomena are surprisingly rare. This pilot study estimated the percentage of ADHD in a population of adolescents who attempted suicide. Population included all adolescents (12-18 yrs.) who were brought to local ER after attempting suicide. Assessment included an interview according to the DSM-IV criteria, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire parents (SDQ-P) the Conners' Rating Scale parents (CRS-P), and Kiddie-SADS. Test Of Variables of Attention (TOVA) with methylphenidate (MPH) challenge was done after the clinical evaluation to those diagnosed as ADHD.
45 suicidal adolescents were registered in the ER and were assessed. 23 adolescents completed the assessment. Male: female ratio was 5:18 accordingly. The prominent diagnoses included ADHD (65%), depression (43%), cluster B personality disorders (35%), and Conduct Disorder (13%). ADD/ADHD ratio was 43/22 (66%:34%). Some suffered from more than 2 diagnoses and 1 had no diagnosis at all. 47.6% were diagnosed as hyperactive by SDQ-P, and 70% as ADHD by CRS-P. 14/15 (93%) were evaluated as ADHD by TOVA and most responded well to MPH. Five patients were diagnosed before the study as ADHD, but only three were medicated. These results, though primary, suggest a significant relationship between the two disorders and indicate a need to further study this correlation