Tvp21 10omslag kijk verder

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 60 (2018) 8, 511 - 520


The associations between God representations and suicidality among Christian patients with a major depressive disorder

N.K. van Vliet, H. Schaap-Jonker, M. Jongkind, N. van der Velde, A. van den Brink, A.W. Braam

background Depression strongly increases the risk of suicide. Religion is described as a protective factor against suicide. Considering the emotional blunting associated with depression, it is important to investigate the affective dimension of religion. This dimension is conveyed in God representations.
aim To describe what types of God representation occur among Christian patients with major depressive disorder and to determine whether there is a relationship between types of God representation and suicide.
method Clinical and outpatients with a major depressive disorder (n=155) completed the Questionnaire God Representations and the Paykel Suicide Items. A k-means cluster analysis is applied to examine which types of God representations occur among depressed patients. Whether there is a relationship between the different God representations and suicide is examined by applying a linear regression analysis.
results Depressed patients uphold two types of God representation: a positive type (n=82) with positive feelings towards God and where God was experienced as supportive, and a negative type (n=73) with anger and anxiety towards God and where God was experienced as passive. Patients with a negative type of God representation scored significantly higher on suicidality. The severity of depression was the main predictor of suicidality, but God representations were also related with a 4% increase in the explained variance.
conclusion In Christian patients with major depressive disorder a negative and a positive God representation emerged. Patients with a negative God representation mainly seem to feel abandoned by God. The suicidality is significantly increased in patients with a negative God representation, however, the increase in the proportion of the explained variance is small.

keywords depression, God representation, religion, suicidality