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Kelleher I, Corcoran P, Keeley H, Wigman JT, Devlin N, Ramsay H, Wasserman C, Carli V, Sarchiapone M, Hoven C, Wasserman D, Cannon M. Psychotic symptoms and population risk for suicide attempt: a prospective cohort study. JAMA Psychiatry . 2013 Sep 1 ; 70(9):940-8. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Primary News: Psychotic Symptoms Are Red Flag for Suicide in Adolescents

Comment by:  John McGrath, SRF Advisor
Submitted 30 August 2013 Posted 3 September 2013
  I recommend this paper

This is an important study: It not only reaffirms how common psychotic symptoms are in otherwise well young people, but highlights that they are associated with serious mental health outcomes such as suicide attempts.

Psychotic experiences (or psychotic-like experiences) may be part of a non-specific response to psychological distress. Thus, diffuse non-clinical expressions of psychological distress may be accompanied by mild depression, mild anxiety, and psychotic-like experiences. There is now a solid body of consistent evidence suggesting that this is the case (too many studies to list from the groups in Maastricht, Dublin, Brisbane, and Tel Aviv).

The take-home message from Ian Kelleher's paper is that when screening for at-risk pluripotent mental states, we should be routinely asking people about the presence of psychotic experiences.

View all comments by John McGrath

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