Year: 2009 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.39, no.1, (February 2009), p.33-37 SIEC No: 20090306

In a sample of young adult Australians, those who had had suicidal ideation but who did not acknowledge ever having had it when asked 4 years later, were experiencing better mental health, as demonstrated by significantly better functioning on a range of psychometric measures, than those who recalled it. These results are consistent with several recent reports and indicate that forgetting painful events such as suicidal ideation is an adaptive defense mechanism. This has implications in terms of therapy focusing on contemporaneous events and the future, rather than on the past.