The evaluation of suicide letters in Turkey from a cognitive perspective
Kurtas, O., Bosgelmez, S., Yalug, I., Birincioglu, I., Bicer, U., Aker, T., ... Yahsi, S.
Background: Different methods are used to understand the suicidal mind. Suicide note analysis may be most direct way to do this. Aims: To study the content of suicide letters under forensic evaluation in terms of psychological and cognitive aspects. Methods: A total of 51 letters were referred to The Council of Forensic Medicine from different cities of Turkey and analyzed by a research group with ten members including forensic medicine specialists and psychiatrists. The Questionnaire of Content Analysis of Suicide Letters (The Q-CAS), developed by researchers, was used to analyze the cognitive and cultural themes of suicide letters. The cognitive distortions about the self, the world, and the future as well as cultural phenomena were evaluated including sociodemographic features. Results: Financial problems in males and relationship problems in females were the most frequent life events related to suicide. Hopelessness, weakness, loneliness – in decreasing order – were the most predominant cognitions and emotions. The total score of females were higher than that of males (p = .002). Conclusions: These negative cognitions should be taken into consideration when therapeutic interventions are planned on individuals with suicidal thoughts.