Article Type: Original Articles
Assessment of Depression Level, Suicidal Thoughts, and Suicide Attempts in Childhood Sexual Abuse
Hatice Altun
Objective: In this study, it was aimed to determine the depression levels, suicide thoughts and suicide attempts of sexually abused children and adolescents.

Methods: Medical records of 218 sexually abused children and adolescents aged 8–17 years who were referred to the Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for arranging judicial reports and/ or were admitted by their families for treatment were retrospectively investigated. In all cases, age, gender, education, intelligence level, type and frequency of abuse, affinity of the abuser with the victim, psychiatric diagnosis according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) classification, depression levels, and suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts of the cases were evaluated. Depression levels of the cases were determined by Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI).

Results: Of the cases, 79.4% (n=173) were female and 20.6% (n=45) were male. The mean age was 13.63±2.43 years. The psychiatric diagnosis rate was 81.2 %. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (40.4%) and depression (21.1%) were the two most common psychiatric diagnoses established after sexual abuse. In 99 of the cases (45.4%) CDI scale values were a score of 19 points and above, which is accepted to be significant for depression. Of the cases, 49.5% (n=108) chose the item of "I do not think about killing myself", 44.1% (n=96) chose the item of "I think about killing myself but I would not do", 6.4% (n=14) chose the item of "I think about killing myself" in the question, in which suicidal thought is assessed, during the evaluation of the cases. The suicide attempt after abuse was found to be in 15 (6.9%) cases. Female gender, a CDI score of 19 points and above, depression and PTSD, vaginal-anal penetration were found to be significantly increased in cases of suicide attempts compared with those without suicide attempts (p<0.05).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that suicidal thoughts and suicide attempt were increased in child sexual abuse. In this children, it is thougt that the risks of suicide must be handled, interventions must be planned on this basis, great significance must be given to the long-term treatment and rehabilitation of the cases. It is believed that descriptive data and lifelong psychiatric symptoms of sexually abused children will help to authorities working in this area in planning prevention.

Key words: Child and adolescent, sexual abuse, depression, suicide thought, suicid attempt
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 2018;8(3):111-117
Online ISSN: 2636-834X
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