Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, and Eating Disorders
This article contains:
Body Trust, agitation, and suicidal ideation in a clinical eating disorder sample – 23 July 2020
Presence and severity of suicidal thoughts and behaviors across the eating disorder diagnostic spectrum – 09 December 2000
Authored by: Mary E Duffy, Nicole Siegfried, Garett Bass, and, Thomas Joiner.
Attention to suicide‐related risk assessment and management is needed when treating individuals with eating disorders, regardless of diagnosis.
Lifeline Chat is a service of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat — available 24/7 across the U.S.
For those experiencing Low Body trust and agitation, the body itself can feel inhospitable or dangerous. Without intervention, this experience may become intolerable to the point of harming one’s own body.
Body Trust, Agitation, and Suicidal Ideation
The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between Body Trust, agitation, and severity of Suicidal Ideation (SI) in a clinical eating disorder sample.
Perception of the body as unsafe may be related to agitation. This intolerable sensation could contribute to suicidal ideation.
Eating disorder population
- Individuals with eating disorders are more at risk for suicidal ideation (SI) and suicide attempt than non-eating disorder individuals; SI affects up to one-half of the eating disorder population
- Interoception, or the ability to sense, accept, and respond to internal bodily sensations is often disrupted in individuals with eating disorders
- Interoceptive dysfunction can lead to a feeling of separation or dissociation from the body; the experience can become intolerable.
- This is significant because when individuals experience acute disconnection from physical experiences a fertile ground for eating disorder behaviors, self-injurious behaviors, or both is created.
- Body Trust means feeling safe and “at home” in one’s own body; it is one sub facet of interoception.
- Low Body Trust has been shown to result in increased eating disorder behaviors and SI.
- Low Body Trust and suicidality are also linked by heightened agitation, a common symptom of Low Body Trust as well as SI.
- For those experiencing Low Body trust and agitation, the body itself can feel inhospitable or dangerous. Without intervention, this experience may become intolerable to the point of harming one’s own body.
- Access the full study here.
Presence and Severity of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Across the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Spectrum
There is a dearth of research on suicidal thoughts and behaviors among eating disorder patients diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED). This pilot study evaluated the presence and severity of suicidal thoughts and behaviors by eating disorder diagnosis in a transdiagnostic clinical eating disorder sample.
Though largely overlooked, treatment-utilizing individuals with BED and OSFED may experience elevated rates and severity of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, attention to suicide-related risk assessment and management is needed when treating individuals with eating disorders, regardless of diagnosis.
Learn more and access the full pilot study through Wiley Online Library.
If you are currently experiencing a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
The Lifeline Chat connects individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat, 24/7 across the United States.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, please connect with a compassionate counselor today.