Does an Attempted Suicide Actually Have a Cathartic Effect?
It has been suggested in empirical studies that an attempted suicide has a cathartic effect. However, only 1 study used a control group of depressives who had not attempted suicide. A replication of these results using more strictly defined patient groups & a more comprehensive assessment of the psychopathology during index treatment was not possible. The cathartic effect of a suicide attempt may be restricted to a severe major depression or to a violent suicide attempt. (25 refs.)