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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 June;42(2):125-40

language: Italian

Death in Venice. Does a laguna syndrome exist?

Stainer D., Ramacciotti F., Colombo G.

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Background. This work is aimed at evaluating the frequency of psychological breakdown cases in foreigners coming to Venice for tourism purposes, in order to estimate some profiles such as age, sex, civil status employment, origin and clinical characteristics (diagnosis, signs causing admission, previous psychiatric cases), with particular attention to possible suicidal tendencies. We assumed we would find out possible specific elements of a psychopathological kind regarding the people analyzed.
Metods. All the information has been taken from case sheets of admissions to psychiatric and non-psychiatric wards, from the period between the beginning of 1988 and the end of 1995, at the end of 1995, at the public health centers of Venice. Information regarding people deceased as a reavet of suicide has been taken from the Information Center of the Hospital of Venice. We analyzed 77 people, divided as follows: 26 psychopathological cases (group A); 35 attempted suicides (group B); 16 suicides (group C).
Results. The number of cases in group A is much lower than that found in other studies and there's no specific diagnosis. Suicidal behaviour concerns 66% of the cases considered. They are really significant not only in comparison with our sample, but also with a number of cases analyzed in other studies, where suicidal behavior is secondary or even not mentioned.
Conclusions. Suicidal behaviour of foreigners in Venice, evident in the numbers in our group, seems to confirm a sort of ''city-death'' link-up, and it could be enough to justify an acknowledgement of a ''Laguna Syndrome''.

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