alexa Persistence of ‘Survival Skills’ as a Risk Factor for Suicide in Severely Traumatised Individuals
ISSN: 1522-4821

International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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Review Article

Persistence of ‘Survival Skills’ as a Risk Factor for Suicide in Severely Traumatised Individuals

Vito Zepinic, PhD*

Psychclinic P/L, London, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Vito Zepinic, PhD
E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract

Although suicidality is not a diagnostic criterion for PTSD, in clinical practice this condition is often present in particular with those patients who had experienced prolonged or repeated traumatisation. Severely traumatised patients might find suicide as an ‘emergency solution’ in order to escape from the ‘persistence of trauma environment’ that continues into the post-trauma time. Chronic trauma causes identity diffusion, fragility and a feeling of discontinuity, with severely disrupted/shattered self-cohesion, interpersonal relationships and existence. In this study among 24 severely traumatised patients (prisoners of war) it was found evidence of the persistence of five ‘survival skills’: betrayal/detachment, untrustworthiness of perception, traumatic moment, mobilisation for danger, and non-aliveness/vitality which could be a risk factor for the suicidality.

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