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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 6, 441 - 445

Short report

The type of agent auto-intoxication and the degree of suicidal intent

J.K.E. Veraart, D. Coric, M. van der Erf, A.W. Braam

background The type of the agent used for auto-intoxication may increase or decrease the degree of suicidal intent.
aim To find out whether the type of agent used for auto-intoxication is linked to the degree of suicidal intent at the moment when a patient is given a psychiatric assessment in a general hospital.
method We studied the files of 211 patients who had been assessed following auto-intoxication. The files provided us with information about the type of agent used, the suicidal intent of the patient at the time and about other recent, relevant risk factors.
results At the time of the assessment, benzodiazepines were the only auto-intoxication agents used which seemed to predict suicidal intent.
conclusion Although the results need to be verified in further studies, it can be concluded that auto-intoxication induced only by benzodiazepines can be seen as a serious expression of an individual’s wish to die.

keywords auto-intoxication, emergency psychiatry, hospital psychiatry, suicidality