The Association Between Nocturnal Panic Attacks and Suicidal Ideation, Plans, and Attempts
Panic and sleep disturbances are established risk factors for suicide. Nocturnal panic attacks, which occur out of sleep, represent an intersection of these risk factors. Only one study to date has examined this relationship, but measured suicidality as a unitary construct. This represents a significant gap in the literature, considering most individuals who think about suicide do not make a plan and most who make a plan never make an attempt. We sought to expand upon existing research by examining how nocturnal panic relates to suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts separately. We predicted nocturnal panic would be associated with more suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt history than daytime only panic and no panic. Participants recruited from an online community sample were thoroughly screened for nocturnal and daytime panic history and completed questionnaires about past suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. Nocturnal and daytime panic groups did not differ in past suicidal ideation or plans, but both groups exceeded the non-panic group. The nocturnal panic group reported more suicide attempts than the daytime and non-panic groups and judged themselves as more likely to make an attempt in the future. These results indicate a promising avenue for future research and suicide prevention efforts.
Smith, N. S.,
Martin, R. L.,
Bauer, B. W.,
Bandel, S. L.,
Capron, D. W.
(2020). The Association Between Nocturnal Panic Attacks and Suicidal Ideation, Plans, and Attempts. Psychiatry Research, 291.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/18089