A study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reports that suicidal patients are more likely to attempt to take their life again if they have nightmares following the first attempt. In fact, the data suggests that gender and psychiatric diagnosis is not a factor in these results. From the original article,
“Those who were still suffering from nightmares after two months faced an even greater risk. These people were five times more likely to attempt suicide a second time,” says author of the thesis, Registered Nurse Nils Sj str m.
This study highlights the importance of nightmare assessment for suicide watches in psychiatric hospitals and other institutions.
In my mind, it also brings up the age old research question about nightmares: are they helpful in dispelling terrors or are they only creating more stress? This is no either/or scenario, but this correlation certainly begs the question. Could working with nightmares in this scenerio make a difference, or should researchers be looking for ways to stop nightmares from happening” What do you think?