Background: Due to their chronic nature, influences on the body image, hopelessness toward complete recovery and frequent recurrences, dermatological diseases seem to be one of the important predisposing factors in depression and suicidal ideation. Thus, the present study aimed at evaluating the degree of depression and suicidal ideation in patients with psoriasis, acne, alopecia areata and vitiligo.
Methods: The study was carried out on 300 patients with psoriasis, acne, alopecia and vitiligo who were referred to the dermatology clinic of Ghaem Hospital in Mashad. Beck depression questionnaire was used to collect the data which was then statistically analyzed with ANOVA and T-test, using SPSS software.
Results: In this study, 35.7% (107) of the subjects were female and 64.3% (193) were male with a mean age of 26.55±10.81 years. The prevalence rate of clinical depression was found to be 47.4% in patients with acne; 69.4% in those with psoriasis; 70.1% in those suffering from vitiligo; 50% in diffuse alopecia areata; 60% in universalis alopecia areata; 100% in ophiasis alopecia areata and 68.3% in patients with localized alopecia areata. As for suicidal ideation, there was no sign in 88.3% (265); however, 6.3% (19) of the patients reported to have thought of suicide but they had no desire for the attempt while 4% (12) of them had some desire for suicide and 1.3% (4) were seriously determined to commit suicide if only they would find themselves in an appropriate situation.
Conclusion: As shown by the findings of the study, there was a close relationship between dermatological diseases and psychological factors; thus, it is important to immediately diagnose concurrent psychological effects, especially those of depression and suicidal ideation. We found that there was a significant relationship between the prevalence rate of dermatological conditions and psychological effects; i.e. depression (P=0.008) and suicidal ideation (P=0.001). We also found out that the rate of suicide attempt was highest among the patients with universalis alopecia, diffuse alopecia areata and vitiligo, respectively.