Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the associations of comorbid
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affective or somatic depression, and
suicide among first responders (FRs). Method: We used baseline data from
FRs (N = 232) who sought services at a nonprofit mental health agency specializing
in treating trauma exposed FRs. We conducted two PROCESS simple
mediation models with PTSD as the predictor, affective depression and somatic
depression as the mediators, and suicidality as the dependent variable.
Results: Affective depression significantly mediated the relationship between
PTSD and suicidality, whereas somatic depression did not. The direct effect of
PTSD on suicidality was not significant. Limitations: These data are
cross-sectional and should be followed up with longitudinal analyses across
the course of treatment. Conclusions: To reduce suicide risk, it is recommended
that clinicians target affective depression instead of PTSD symptoms.
Whitworth, James; Galusha, Jeanine; Carbajal, Jose; Ponder, Warren; and Schuman, Donna, "Affective Depression Mediates PTSD to Suicide in a Sample of Treatment-Seeking First Responders" (2023). Faculty Publications. 29.
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