Nighttime terrors can be more vivid to those individuals who are suicidal or having suicidal thoughts to begin with. Researchers in the US and other countries backed up this findings from research conducted in their home countries.
According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates in the US have reached an alarming rate of have of 13 per 100,000 people.
Psychologist Michael Nadorff of Mississippi State University pointed that having nightmares is one of the risks associated with suicide that is preventable.
There are three suicide risks identified and used by scientists. They are thoughts of suicide, suicidal behaviors and individuals' own beliefs about the likelihood that they will die by suicide.
In a 2011 study, Nadorff and his colleagues surveyed 583 undergraduates and then examined how symptoms such as anxiety, depression and nightmares were related to that risk.
It's no-brainer that the higher the symptoms, the higher the risk of suicide. But their data also bared another correlation, surprisingly this time. They found that having nightmares corresponded with overall suicide risk more closely than any other factor.
“What amazed me was that not only are nightmares associated with suicide but the relation was maintained even after we controlled for depression, anxiety and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder],” Nadorff says.
“So here are some of the biggest risk factors in the field people think of or assess for, but nightmares are adding something that the others are not capturing.”
A paper published in 2016 in Sleep Medicine Reviews,
found that being awake at night, typical of people suffering with insomnia also increases the risk for suicide.
These studies can help in aiding treatments that evaluate nightmares and wakefulness for suicide intervention and prevention.
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