Researchers at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) have revealed that one quarter of suicide attempts are associated with dysfunction in how the brain interprets basic perceptual information, such as what we see, hear and think. The research shows that this dysfunction can predict suicidal behaviour, and offers new prospects for treatment and suicide prevention. The research has today been published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Symptoms such as depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness and a sense of hopelessness are well documented in suicidal behaviour. However, in an analysis of more than 80,000 people, new research has revealed that one quarter of individuals who attempted or died by suicide had problems in basic sensory experiences, such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t really there—otherwise known as ‘perceptual abnormalities’.