After Great Pain (IN: On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by J Miller)

For Emily Dickinson, a 19th-century American poet, the simplest acts or moments of life were universal symbols as revealed in this short poem.

Interspersed Requests: a Nonaversive Procedure for Reducing Aggression and Self-Injury During Instruction

This report presents 2 assessments of the effect of interspersed requests, simple commands that are interspersed among instructional trials. Participants were individuals with severe mental retardation who used aggression & self-injury to avoid difficult instructional situations. Results suggest that interspersed requests were effective at increasing the responsiveness of the learners to instructions & reducing levels […]

Drug Automatism & Equivocal Suicide

Therapeutic doses of certain medications can alter or impair the thought processes of susceptible patients. A diagnosis of drug-induced organic mental disorder may be appropriate for some attempted & completed suicides who present as drug overdoses. The process of automatism is defined by the author”as nonreflexive, directed & apparently purposive motor behavior performed without full […]

Drug Automatism as a Cause of Pseudo Suicide

Examined are suicides admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Sweden in 1960 (N=488, 214 males, 274 females). There were 3 categories: serious attempts; impulsive acts; & attempts where there were no intention to commit suicide. Stated is that the mechanism of automatism was involved in the latter group, all of whom were cases of poisoning. […]

Self-Mutilation Within a Hospital Setting: A Study of Identity and Social Compliance

An unknown precipitant appears to trigger self-mutilation in vulnerable individuals. The act reduces unbearable levels of stress, anger, & anxiety and results in feeling of intense relief. In this article, the author presents typical problems faced by the self mutilator and the staff caring for this type of patient on a psychiatric hospital ward. The […]

“After You Hit a Child, You Can’t Just Get Up and Leave Him: You are Hooked to That Kid”. A Conversation With Ivar Lovaas About Self-Mutilating Children and How Their Parents Make it Worse.

The article deals with the autistic child, its aberrant behaviors such as extreme tantrums, self-stimulatory behaviors, & self-destructive behaviors. The article considers self-mutilative behavior in particular. Electric shock and spanking as punishment were successful in controlling self-mutilative behavior. When an autistic child injures himself and you give him lots of attention, you are rewarding him […]

Self Injurious Behavior: A Behavioral Analysis

Self-destructive behavior is discussed in terms of frequency of occurrence, type of behavior, susceptible persons, causation & possible treatment methods. Behavioral therapies involving positive reinforcement of alternative behaviors, withdrawal of positive reinforcement, extinction & punishment, are reviewed & evaluated. A discriminative stimulus-conditioned reinforcer hypothesis & an avoidance hypothesis are proposed to explain self-destructive behavior in […]

The Motivation of Self-Injurious Behavior: A Review of Some Hypotheses

A review of literature on self-destructive behavior suggests 5 major hypotheses concerning motivation: 1) learned-operant, maintained by positive social reinforcement; 2) learned-operant, maintained by negative reinforcement; 3) self-stimulation; 4) aberrant physiological processes; & 5) ego boundary establishment/guilt reduction. Effective treatment may depend on recognition of the different motivational sources for self-destructive behavior & the developmental […]

A Study of Wrist Cutting (Micro BF 789 54 D84 1977)

This study examines the phenomenon of wrist cutting, attempting to identify those at risk for this behavior & to understand motivational factors. The author tested & interviewed 3 inpatients of a MHC who had cut their wrists & compares findings with that of earlier sociobiologicl studies. It is suggested that there are 5 types of […]

A Catamnestic Study of 476 Attempted Suicides, With Special Regard to the Prognosis for Cases of Drug Automatism

Drug Automatism, Barbituate Poisoning, and Suicide Behavior

Studies of a nonfatal & fatal case of barbituate poisoning have been used in a discussion of the differential diagnosis of accidental vs intentional poisoning. They show that, although cases of accidental barbituate poisoning do occur, they are not caused by drug automatism. The persistence of the drug automatism hypothesis is partially explained by the […]

Suicide and Abnormalities of Consciousness

This paper postulates that abnormalities of consciousness can play an important role in the psychopathology of suicide & also as major factors leading to self destruction. 5 cases, chosen both from the literature & from personal clinical experience, are presented to illustrate how consciousness disturbances can lead to suicide.

Psycholegal Aspects of Suicide (IN: Modern Legal Medicine, Psychiatry and Forensic Science, ed. by Curran et al)

Mythology of Suicide

Investigations of Equivocal Suicides

This article discusses the uncertainty involved in classifying a death a suicide. This is particularly difficult when victim’s intention is ambivalent, when the self-destructive action itself is inconclusive, or when death follows the action after a considerable delay. Investigation of 100 such cases is reported with illustrative examples. The authors assert that the present classification […]