Few data are available to validate the concept of a cathartic effect of attempted suicide. The relation between pre- & postsuicidal mood conditions is studied in 25 hospitalized attempters & 50 controls who were depressed but not suicidal. A significant decrease in depression was shown to occur in the former within a few days of hospitalization. This was not the case in the latter. Hence, reduced depression can be attributed to the attempt. Possible indications & explanations are discussed.