A rating scale to gauge the lifethreatening severity of suicidal behavior in a series of 99 patients making 101 suicidal attempts with sedatives was formed from gradings of depth of coma, physical danger, and apparent intent found with the self-poisoning. The patients diagnosed as suffering from a depressive illness had a significantly higher mean rating (9.6 ± 0.4) by this scale than individuals diagnosed as personality disorder (5.2 ± 0.31). Since among self poisoning individuals those with depressive illness expose themselves to a greater likelihood of death, greater attention might be paid to advertising the diagnosis, dangers, and treatability of depressive illness in public programs attempting to prevent suicide.
McHugh PR, Goodell H. Suicidal BehaviorA Distinction in Patients With Sedative Poisoning Seen in a General Hospital. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(5):456-464. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750170072011