Self-disgust as a potential mechanism underlying the association between PTSD and suicide risk

C. Alex Brake, Sasha M. Rojas, Christal L. Badour, Courtney E. Dutton, Matthew T. Feldner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Suicide risk is highly prevalent among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-disgust, defined as disgust directed internally and comprised of disgust with oneself (disgusting self) and with one's behaviors (disgusting ways), may impact this increased risk. The present study examined self-disgust as a putative mechanism linking PTSD symptoms with suicide risk. A sample of 347 trauma-exposed undergraduates completed measures of PTSD symptoms, suicide risk, self-disgust, and depressive symptoms. Controlling for depressive symptoms, a process model indicated PTSD symptoms were positively linked to suicide risk via increased disgusting self but not disgusting ways. Process models examining individual PTSD symptom clusters revealed positive, indirect links between all PTSD symptom clusters except alterations in arousal and reactivity and suicide risk via disgusting self. These findings expand on growing literature documenting the importance of self-disgust in trauma-related pathology by identifying connections with suicide risk. Future directions and clinical considerations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Disgust
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Suicide risk
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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