Research has suggested that some individuals report posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following a suicide attempt (SA). However, there is debate as to whether one’s own SA should be recognized as a criterion event for PTSD symptoms. Alternatively, trauma research has identified moral injury as a consequence of trauma that is related to PTSD and broader mental health issues. The present study had two primary aims: to broadly explore PTSD and perceptions of one’s SA as a PMIE; and to expand our understanding of the relationship between PTSD and PMIEs among SA survivors.
Participants (N = 152) reporting a lifetime SA were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to complete self-report measures of PTSD symptoms and PMIE specific to their SA, as well as self-report measures of shame, and guilt. Descriptive statistics and regressions were used to examine the study aims. Levels of PTSD symptoms and PMIE secondary to a SA were comparable with previous samples.
Perceptions of one’s SA as a PMIE were statistically significantly associated with global PTSD symptoms, while PTSD intrusion symptoms were uniquely associated with perceptions of one’s SA as a PMIE.
The results from this study suggest that a SA is a potentially traumatic event that could lead to symptoms of PTSD and perceptions of one’s SA as a PMIE.