Contemporary definitions of suicidal behavior: A systematic literature review

To address the lack of comparability around the world, we conducted a systematic review of existing definitions of suicide and suicidal behaviors. In the literature, four key features appear to cover the vast majority of concepts underpinning definitions: agency, knowledge of a potential fatal outcome, intent, and outcome. Intent and outcome appear to be the […]

The continuum of “survivorship”: Definitional issues in the aftermath of suicide.

In light of prevailing confusion over the meaning of the term √ísuicide survivor,√ď we propose a more exact terminology for designating different levels of impact on those left behind by suicide, ranging on a continuum from those exposed to suicide through those who are affected by it and finally to those who are bereaved by […]

Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations

This article is a culmination of a 3-year effort by an expert panel to address the need for better understanding of suicidal behaviour & suicide risk in sexual minority populations, & stimulate the development of needed prevention strategies, interventions, & policy changes. This article summarizes existing research findings, & makes recommendations for addressing knowledge gaps […]

Suicide atRoma the end of life

Ethicist Rex Roman offers his views on the distinction between suicide and physician-assisted suicide.

Suicide Attempt

This study reviewed the literature regarding issues surrounding attempted suicide & provided a selective overview of the topic. Despite common usage of the term “attempted suicide”, it is sometimes confused with other self-harm behavours. However, attempted suicide should be used only when there is clear intent to die & but, for some reason, the individual […]

Suicide Prevention

This pocket-book includes the following chapters: Historical Review; Definitions; Epidemiology; Contributing Factors to Suicide; Mental Disorders & the Biological Substrate of Suicide; Psychosocial Influences on Suicidal Behaviour; An Evidence Based Management Approach; Initial Assessment & Management; Non-Pharmacological Approaches; Pharmacological Approaches; Broad Suicide Prevention Initiatives; Bereavement After Suicide; Frequently Asked Queations; & Conclusion. An appendix provides […]

Differentiating Suicide From Life-Ending Acts and End-of-Life Decisions: a Model Based on Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis

The authors proposed a four-square grid distinguishing true suicide from behaviours such as treatment termination & lethal noncompliance. One axis characterizes whether actions hasten death. The other identifies how the patient’s social & medical network collaborate in the decision-making process. Using chronic kidney disease to model intent & collaboration, treatment is framed within a paradigm […]

Letter to the Editor

In this letter to the editor, the authors discuss how their systematic review of the epidemiology of homicide-suicide reached different conclusions from those of Eliason (2009) & two earlier reviews done in 1983 & 1992. A reply by Eliason follows.

Durkheim did not say “Normlessness”: the Concept of Anomic Suicide for Introductory Sociology Courses

The definitions of anomic suicide presented in introductory sociology textbooks from 1996-2007 were compared with the definition given by Durkheim in his own writings, both the original French & the English translation. It was found only one textbook correctly gave Durkheim’s own definition while the other definitions showed little or no relationship to the original […]

Suicidal Behavior (Volume 14 – Advances in Psychotherapy: Evidence-Based Practice)

The first 4 sections of this book include a description of suicidal behavior, theories & models, risk assessment & treatment planning, & an extensive section on treatment strategies. The book also includes a case vignette, a case example, suggestions for further reading, & 2 appendices – the first providing an outline for a suicide consultation […]

Can Postvention be Prevention?

This study reviewed the current status of postvention support, including definitions used & the objectives & effectiveness of support activities for people bereaved by suicide. 43 refs.)

The WHO/START Study: Promoting Suicide Prevention for a Diverse Range of Cultural Contexts

The WHO/START study is introduced & described in its 4 main components. The study originated as a response to growing concerns about trends of suicide, the prevalence of which in the Western Pacific Region is the highest among the six regions of the World Health Organization. So far, 19 centres have joined the study. This […]

A Masterful Piece of Work and a “Must Read” Book Review-Suicidal Behavior by R McKeon

The reviewer found this book to be “an optimal mixture of a careful review of the literature & personal experiences written in a didactic, user-friendly way”. It is stated the book should be read by anyone dealing with suicidal individuals.

Subtle Suicide: our Silent Epidemic of Ambivalence About Living

The authors have developed the concept of “subtle suicide”, risky behaviour where the individual does not care if he or she lives or dies. Based on psychotherapy sessions & case studies, the book also offers biographical sketches of well-known people who exhibited subtle suicide behaviour, including Marilyn Monroe, Anna Nicole Smith, Jim Morrison, & Evel […]

Can Novel Nosological Strategies aid in the Identification of Risk for Suicidal Behavior?

In this editorial, the authors discuss the way suicidal behaviour is currently classified in the DSM-IV – only as a symptom in the context of Major Depressive Episode or of Borderline Personality Disorder. They recommend that suicidal behaviour be considered a separate diagnostic category & documented on a sixth axis. (16 refs.)

Rocky Roads: the Journeys of Families Through Suicide Grief

The grief journey following a suicide loss is not a quick & easy path. Because people are unique, as are the life experiences of individuals, the road can open up in several ways for each person. In this book, the author guides the family unit with a road map to navigate suicide grief as individuals […]

Adolesents who Self-Harm: how to Protect Them From Themselves

When treating teenagers with self-harming thoughts & behaviour, it may be difficult to distinguish suicide attempts from self-injury without intent to die. Understanding adolescent self-harm, suicide risk assessment, & treatment options guides clinicians to appropriate interventions. Recognizing the need for aggressive treatment – including psychiatric hospitalization – is essential to keeping self-harming teenagers safe. (28 […]

Book Review-“Suicidal Behaviour” – Advances in Psychotherapy (Evidence-based Practice) by R McKeon

The reviewer calls this book “compact & handy”, “reader-friendly, enriched with tables, boxed clinical ‘pearls’, marginal notes, & summary boxes”. Even though the book has an American focus, the reviewer found this does not preclude its generalisation & application to other sociocultural settings as the author revisits common management principles when illustrating them in an […]

Life After Death: a Family’s Walk From A (Awful Death of Suicide) to Z (Zest for Living Again)

This book follows a family’s walk through the shadow of their loved one’s suicide, showing their struggle with grief & their eventual return to a zest for living through the help of their faith. The book was written after the author’s first husband died by suicide after struggling with a diagnosis of cancer.

Suicide by cop: Issues in Outcome and Analysis (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

The authors, a forensic psychiatrist & an assistant city attorney, present findings from their work in suicide-by-cop cases. The following areas are discussed: incident nomenclature & definition; decedent profiles & incident characteristics; psychological sequelae experienced by officers & law enforcement agencies; law enforcement training; & issues arising in subsequent litigation. JA

Law Enforcement-Assisted Suicide: Characteristics of Subjects and law Enforcement Intervention Techniques (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

This chapter describes historical, personality, behavioural, & situational factors of law enforcement-assisted suicides, which are also known as suicide-by-cop subjects. It also examines intervention tactics used by law enforcement officers during these incidents. Although suicide-by-cop shares several characteristics with other suicide attempts, it appears to be unique due to the involvement of other people. In […]

Reflections on Suicide Research: Challenges, Opportunities, Moral Imperatives

In order to review progress in the field, this paper offers a bird’s eye view on the topic of suicidal behaviour as seen through the eyes of the investigator, the difficulties to parcel out various sources of knowledge, as well as the moral imperatives that govern an otherwise deep domain of psychiatry. The main message, […]

Surrogate Endpoints in Suicide Research

Surrogate endpoints frequently substitute for rare outcomes in research. The ability to learn about completed suicides by investigating more readily available & proximate outcomes, such as suicide attempts, has obvious appeal. However, concerns with surrogates from the statistical science perspective exist, & mounting evidence from psychometric, neurochemical, genetic, & neuroimaging studies suggests that surrogates may […]