Suicide Genes Floating in a Glass of Sparkling Wine

This commentary examines the genetics behind suicidal behavior. The phenotype is defined, followed by a brief discussion of 2 employable genetic methods: positional cloning & the more classical approach involving candidate genes. The authors explain the polygenetic, multifactorial model of suicidal genetics & address the interaction of genes & the environment. They also list possible […]

Influencing Personal and Environmental Conditions for Community Health: a Multilevel Intervention Model

This article discusses the importance to community health of both personal & environmental conditions. A multilevel intervention model for practical use in influencing both conditions is described. The model has 4 phases: health goals selection, intervention planning, intervention, & evaluation. 3 health problems are used to illustrate how the model can be used: hypertension, coronary […]

Deliberate Self-Harm Among Adolescents in Residential Treatment Centres

The purpose of this study was to examine differences between a group of adolescents who had made acts of deliberate self-harm (DSH) from those who did not. 40 subjects were residents of 2 adolescent care centres for emotionally disturbed &/or deliquent youths. Each group of 20 was subjected to several standardized personality, psychological, & cognitive […]

Assessment of Suicide Risk

K. Hawton presents an overview of suicidal assessment, initially addressing the problems in determining risk, & then proceeding to an examination of the risk of suicide for those with psychiatric disorders & for particular clinical populations, both hospitalized patients & suicide attempters. Various research findings that can assist the clinician in making a decision about […]

Depression and Suicidality in Eating Disorders

The first 95 patients admitted to an inpatient eating disorders program & diagnosed as having bulimia, bulimarexia & anorexia nervosa were evaluated for depression, suicidality & family history. Major depression was found in 80% of patients; 20% had made suicide attempts in their life; & 40% of those attempting suicide made potentially lethal attempts. Findings […]

Hallucinations in Children

This paper reports the results of a retrospective study comparing child psychiatry inpatients, who reported hallucinations, with a control group. The study shows that nonpsychotic children who report hallucinations have significantly more relatives with a history of psychosis, often with an affective component, than controls. They did not differ from controls for family history of […]

Desertion and Self-Destruction

Psychologists matched 115 depressed patients who were not suicidal with a like # of depressed & suicidal to investigate the effect of parental loss. No significant differences were found if the parent was lost through natural causes. However, the suicidal group had experienced more parental loss through divorce, separation, & desertion. (NBB)

Selected Behavioral Features of Patients With Borderline Personality Traits

Selected behavioral features felt historically & empiricallyto be significant in the borderline personality disorder were evaluated in 4800 psychiatric inpatients. Variables measured were # of hospitalizations & type of discharge, suicidal behavior, physical violence & outcome after discharge. Statistical data indicated irregular discharges, frequent suicide attempts, 1st attempt prior to age 40, & gradual deterioration […]

Forensic Suicides and Attempted Suicides

Marginal members of society fail, for whatever reason, to adequately internalize an acceptable or meaningful set of norms from which to assess their successes & failures. Consequently “Loss” does not seem to be a significant factor associated with most forensic suicides. Chronic ambiguity & free floating rage, exagerated by the jail-like environment of many forensic […]

Arthur Koestler: Was His Suicide Rational?

The suicide of Arthur Koestler & his wife in 1983 added to the debate on whether or not suicide may be an appropriate & rational form of death. An examination of his extensive autobiographical works indicates that suicidal thoughts, & indeed acts, played a not insignificant role in his life, & this coupled with a […]

Purpose in Life and Family Adjustment as Related to Adolescent Constructive-Destructive Behavior (Micro HQ 796 H36 1979)

This study supports Fromm’s theory that different patterns of family relationships are related to purpose in life in constructive & destructive behavior. Subjects were selected from the upper & lower 27% of a population of 439 high school juniors, creating a constructive & a destructive group of 107 students each. The PIL & kFAT were […]

Prevention of Adolescent Suicide Among Some Native American Tribes

Suicide rates among Native Americans vary from tribe to tribe & therefore no distinct pattern of suicide emerges among this population. There are, however, certain common risk factors involving family problems, loss, separation, alcoholism & criminality that have been validated by case studies. Effective prevention strategies depend upon early recognition of high risk infants, children […]

Clinical Contribution to the Problem of the Early Mother-Child Relationship: Some Discussion of its Influence on Self-destructive Tendencies & Fugue States

The author presents 3 case histories of patients with self-destructive tendencies. In each case, psychoanalysis focussing on early mother-child relationships elicited ideas & fantasies centering around self-destruction. Unconscious factors, Fugue states, & regression are discussed in this context. 21 ref. (NBB)

Suicide Among Native Americans

Although self-destructive behaviour is a major problem for some North American Indian tribes, it is not a universal problem. The more traditional tribes, with strong religious & governmental leaders, & intact extended family systems have fewer mental health problems & fewer suicides. Dr. Berlin provides statistics on suicide among differing populations & in particular, among […]

Is There a Short-Cut? An Investigation Into the Life Event Interview

42 men and 53 women patients at the Edinburgh Regional Poisoning Treatment Center were interviewed, usually within 8-12h of admission. The interview covered life events and difficulties from 6 months before admission. For 43 patients it was in 3 stages: 1) a list of life events and difficulties to be ticked, 2) standard probing questions […]

The Reality of Suicide: Facts, Theories, Illustrations as a Guide to Suicide Prevention

The author examines the evolution of self-destructive behavior in an individual as he passes through normal developmental stages. Part 1 includes chapters dealing with studies of suicidal behavior, the original trauma that precipitates later self-destruction, suicide in adolescence & adulthood, classification of attempts, epidemiology & social class, & case illustrations. Part 2 deals with the […]

Most Suicide Has Roots in Childhood

This 1979 MEDICAL POST article is the result of an interview with Dr. Isaac Sakinofsky, professor of psychiatry at McMaster University, who has done family-centered research in the area of suicide. Dr. Sakinofsky found that about 60% of all suicide attempters had come from homes where parents had been negligent in nurturing their children & […]

Discriminating Characteristics of Suicides: Chestnut Lodge Follow-up Sample Including Patients With Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

Diagnostic, demographic, and outcome profiles were compared between psychiatric inpatients and former inpatients who ultimately commited suicide and those who did not. Results showed that the suicide group contained a greater preponderance of males and patients suffering from schizoaffective disorder or unipolar depression, and comparatively fewer patients with borderline personality disorder. The risk of suicide […]

Early Social Influences on Suicidal Behaviour

The author claims that specific events in the early social environment contribute to a vulnerability for suicidal behavior, and further, that similar events in later life trigger these early memories & produce self-destructive behavior. Adam also states that suicide attempters & those who complete suicide are different but overlapping groups, the same individuals but at […]

The Behavior of Adult Alcoholic Men Abused as Children

31 alcoholic men who suffered physical abuse during childhood were compared with a control group of alcoholic men without histories of child abuse. A similar comparison was made for an age-matched subgroups of 21 men. As adults, the abused men demonstrated more legal difficulties, domestic violence, & violence against authority figures than the controls. They […]

Parental Deprivation & Attempted Suicide

This study reports the results of 2 investigations made of the incidence & nature of parental deprivation occurring in patients who had attempted suicide as compared with a control group of general hospitals. No statistically significant difference between subjects & controls in incidence of parental deprivation in either study, although deprivation was higher in patients […]

Early Parental Discipline & Adult Self-Destructive Acts

45 male inpatients with major depressive episodes by DSM-III criteria were examined for correlates of inpatient self-destructive behavior. It was found that 44% of the variance for impatient self-destructive acts could be accounted for by a combination of history of severe childhood discipline & parental conflict. Losses experienced during childhood were of less importance than […]

Childhood Disturbances Reported by Self-Harming Adults

A group of 61 patients (average age 29) admitted to hospital following suicide attempts were assessed by The Childhood Events Questionnaire, to test the hypothesis that such adults have often experienced loss or disturbed caretaking during childhood. Results indicated that separation from parents, material hardship, & a parent who was an alcoholic or drug addict […]