The Importance of Mental Pain and Physical Dissociation in Youth Suicidality

Shai Levinger, Eli Somer, Ronald R. Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the importance of two suicide risk factors, mental pain and physical dissociation, among young people. Participants were 42 suicidal inpatients, 36 nonsuicidal inpatients, and 45 nonclinical participants. Overall, suicide attempters reported a stronger intensity of and lower tolerance for mental pain and more physical dissociation compared to the other two groups. Suicide attempters with a low tolerance for mental pain showed a higher level of dissociation from pain and insensitivity to bodily cues compared to nonsuicidal inpatients with similar levels of tolerance for mental pain. Physical dissociation contributed significantly to the likelihood of suicidality beyond the contribution of mental pain. Our results accentuate the importance of the combination of mental pain and physical dissociation in suicidality. Further research on the applicability of our findings to self-injurious behavior is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-339
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • adolescents
  • dissociation
  • inpatients
  • mental pain
  • suicide
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The Importance of Mental Pain and Physical Dissociation in Youth Suicidality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this