Perspectives on Suicide in Africa

This article examines common determinants of suicide in various African populations, the usual methods of suicide, & prevention strategies. (13 refs.)

Book Review-African Homicide and Suicide, by P Bohannan


African Women and Suicide

In this editorial, the director of the Liberian National Association of Suicide Prevention speaks out on the current challenges faced by African women. The impact of insufferable social/economic conditions has led to an increase in the number of suicide attempts & completions among African women. Jones points out that women are often seen as sexual[…]

Suicidal Behavior in African-American Slaves

Reports of suicides by African-American slaves are reviewed, and rates calculated from the available data. Severe punishment appeared to be the most common precipitant for suicide, and explanations for the possible variation in suicide rates by status are proposed. (56 refs.)

Suicide Attempts in Ethiopian Adolescents in Addis Abeba High Schools

A representative sample of all high school students in Addis Abeba in the 1989/90 academic year was surveyed to estimate life-time prevalence & risk factors of suicide attempts. 14.3% of the adolescents reported having attempted suicide; 17.5% usually felt hopeless. Suicide attempts were strongly & linearly associated with hopelessness, grade, & heavy alcohol intake. No[…]

Psychiatry in Africa: Special Problems and Unique Features

The author discusses the state of African psychiatry, comparing & contrasting it with European psychiatry. Numerous studies of schizophrenias, affective disorders, suicide, atypical & brief psychoses, drug abuse & neuroses are reviewed. Using examples from a number of different cultures, the difficulty in obtaining accurate data for the study of suicide is discussed. Brief mention[…]

Theories of Homicide and Suicide (IN: African Homicide and Suicide, ed. by P Bohannan)

This article compares suicide & homicide in Africa & the West in order to determine if theses phenomena differs in the 2 regions. The author discusses Western sociological, psychological, & actuarial theories of suicide & homicide extensively, particularly Durkheim’s formulations. The author discovers that research on African tribes is sparse, & that which exists often[…]

Patterns of Murder and Suicide (IN: African Homicide and Suicide, ed. by P Bohannan)

This concluding chapter of a book on African homicide & suicide describes general beliefs, as well as differences, among all of the tribes discussed. Attitudes toward homicide & suicide are described, & homicide & suicide statistics, including common motives, weapons, & relationships between victims & killers are provided. Comparisons are made with western societies, &[…]

Samsonic Suicide or Suicide of Revenge Among Africans

The author argues that another type of suicide, identified as Samsonic suicide, exists in Africa. However, unlike Samson, whose suicide was one of revenge where by killing himself, he killed his enemies, African suicides of revenge do not necessarily involve the destruction of one’s enemies with the destruction of oneself. Many occur because the suicide[…]

Psychiatry in Africa: an Overview

Psychiatry in Africa & the Western world are compared in terms of rates, presentation, treatment of neurosis, depression & schizophrenia, suicide & drug- & alcohol-related problems. Child psychiatric services & research in biological psychiatry are rare in Africa, & sociocultural problems confront epidemiolgic studies & the use of psychotherapy. The authors conclude, for example, to[…]