Differentiating acute suicidal affective disturbance (ASAD) from anxiety and depression symptoms: A network analysis
Rogers, M.L., Hom, M.A., & Joiner, T.E.
A growing body of literature supports the potential existence of a new clinical entity, Acute suicidal affective disturbance (ASAD), which is characterized by rapid-onset, acute suicidality. This study aimed to evaluate whether current ASAD symptoms (i.e., suicidal intent, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, disgust with others and oneself, agitation, irritability, insomnia, and nightmares) comprise a psychopathological network distinct from anxiety and depression symptoms.
A sample of 167 psychiatric inpatients completed self-report measures of current ASAD, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Network analyses revealed three distinct clusters of symptoms corresponding to ASAD, anxiety, and depression symptom self-report measure items. Namely, ASAD symptoms not only demonstrated strong associations with each other, but they also exhibited weak associations with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This study utilized a cross-sectional design and distinct self-report measures to assess all constructs, which may have led to methodological confounds that influenced the observed network structure.
Overall, our findings provide further evidence for ASAD as a syndrome with strongly interrelated symptoms. Furthermore, results indicate that ASAD may represent a construct distinct from anxiety and depression, underscoring its potential diagnostic value. Additional research is needed to replicate these findings across other high-risk populations, as well as to examine how ASAD symptoms may relate to other psychiatric symptoms.