"The majority of the suicide attempters in this study described impaired thinking, and were driven by anger, loss, hurt, depression, anxiety and stress, which at times, was greatly exacerbated by drugs and alcohol use.
"The suicide survivors I spoke to made the decision to self-harm because they were in unbearable pain - a feeling known as 'psychache'. To many, the suicidal behaviour was not a longing for death, but a desire to be free from the mental anguish, to have time out, or to show others their hurt.
"79 per cent reported their suicidal feelings had dissipated at the time of the interview. Nearly half of this group reported a positive shift in their mental state, which meant experiencing feelings of calm about the traumatic issues that had triggered their suicide attempt.
"There was strong evidence of mental illness in this study. 85 per cent of the sample was diagnosed with a mental illness by the treating psychiatrists."
Dr Wyder also uncovered different suicidal triggers and life circumstances. She found that the participants fell into two groupings - either 'acute' or 'chronic' - depending on the life experiences that had brought them to this point, with mental illness equally present in both groups.
"The acute participants - 37 per cent of the sample - were doing well in their lives before one or more life events, such as a depressive or schizophrenic illness, social stressors, or a loss of a relationship or employment, meant they could no longer cope.
"The chronic participants on the other hand - 63 per cent of the sample
- described their problems as longstanding. They were more likely to report to suffer from personality disorders, chaotic home lives, difficulties with anger, drug and alcohol use, and have a history of abuse in their childhoods. The attempt to self harm was borne out of depressed feelings brought on by drug and alc
Contact: Amanda Whibley