Suicidal ideation versus suicidal obsession: A case report

Alzbeta Juven Wetzler, Rachela Elias, Leah Fostick, Joseph Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This case report illustrates the relationship between stress and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by describing an unusual case of OCD sequelae following a suicide attempt. The patient is a 29-year-old married woman who suffered a major depressive episode without OCD and tried to commit suicide by drinking household cleaner. Following the attempt, violent obsessive thoughts of harming herself and others emerged along with avoidance behavior. After exposure therapy, there was a decrease in her obsessive thoughts, less anxiety, and no avoid-ance behavior. This report highlights not only the existence of "posttraumatic obsession" but also the importance of accurate interpretation of suicidal preoccupation, leading to the diagnosis of OCD rather then suicidal ideation secondary to depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-556
Number of pages4
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


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