The Legacy of Lucretia: Rape-Suicides in art, 509 BC-2008 (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

While rape is a known risk factor for suicidality in both men & women, it has received relatively little attention in suicidology. There is also a relative lack of attention to the extent to which & how rape-suicide has been covered in various art forms. It is clear that one portrayal of rape-suicide, that of […]

An Inquiry Into Relationship Suicides and Reciprocity

The authors propose a reciprocity-based theory to explain suicides associated with relationship problems. Employing a content analysis of suicide notes, the theory was tested. Evidence was found of exploitation, exploiter guilt, retaliation, & retreat as motives for relationship-based suicide. Reciprocity-based note writers were more likely to have used alcohol or drugs in the hours prior […]

Daydreaming About Death: Violent Daydreaming as a Form of Emotion Dysregulation in Suicidality


Suicide to Harass Others: Clues From Mythology to Understanding Suicide Bombing Attacks

Terror Suicide: how is it Possible?

Based on the distinction between causes for suicide & facilitators of suicide, the author contends that terror suicide is based largely on processes that facilitate suicide rather than on personal distress. Under this premise, terror suicides are examined in terms of enthusiastic determination to achieve a goal, ideological rage, glorification of the post self, heavenly […]

Bereavement After Suicide by Firearm

This article examines the motivations of people who choose the use of firearms as a method for suicide. The author cites several examples in which it appears that the deceased chose suicide by firearm as a way of expressing anger toward those close to him. (11 refs) (SC)

Suicide. Its Nature and Moral Evaluation.

This paper defines what suicide is and provides a schema for its moral evaluation. When an individual takes his/her own life it is suicide unless one of two conditions obtains: he did not truly “choose” his death, or there is an alternate description/intention of the act. The moral evaluation of suicides groups them into three […]

The Impact of Suicide Across Cultures: More Than a Fairy Tale (IN: The Impact of Suicide, edited by B L Mishara)

The cultural variations in the effects of suicide are reviewed in this chapter. Different types of suicide (in terms of the consequences intended by the victim), e.g. atonement (seppuku), nonviolent resistance (self-immolation by Buddhist monks), or revenge (Lusi-Kaliai of New Guinea) are discussed. There is also a discussion of cluster suicide & suicide as a […]

The Effect of the Content of Suicide Notes on Grief Reactions

This study focuses on the emotional reactions of spouses of suicide victims to the content of suicide notes. 48 married subjects recorded their emotional responses to 4 types of simulated notes. The notes either blamed the spouse, expressed love & forgiveness but still blamed the spouse, expressed no blame, or blamed themselves. There were significant […]

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 […]

Revenge Suicide by Lusi Women: An Expression of Power (IN: Rethinking Women’s Roles, ed. by D O’Brien and S Tiffany)

Using data from the Lusi-speaking Kaliai of northwest New Britain, the author demonstrates that suicide is part of a pattern of behaviour for powerless people, that this pattern is communicated in oral literature, that it follows rules, & that it has predictable results. In this context, suicide is a political alternative that permits the powerless, […]

Samsonic Suicides: or Suicides of Revenge Among Africans (IN: The Sociology of Suicide: A Selection of Readings, ed. by A Giddens)

This article presents existing theories of suicide & arguing that another type – the Samsonic suicide – should be included. The author discusses this revenge act in the context of belief & social organization, illustrating his theory with examples from African tribes. (43 refs) (SC)

Pathology in White Mountain Apache Culture: A Preliminary Analysis

This study is based on 1969-70 research among the White Mountain Apaches of east-central Arizona. The hypothesis that no matter what form of pathological behavior occurs, the response of the affected social system will be either tolerance or intolerance, was supported. The hypothesis that the degree of disruptiveness or harm created by the act determines […]

The Devices of Suicide: Revenge, Riddance, and Rebirth

Suicide has been commonly understood as an attack intended to destroy an inner presence. While this is usually so, suicide may often serve the purposes of revenge, punishment, flight from a persecutor, reunion with the mother of early infancy, & is often accompanied by fantasies of escape & rebirth. The inter-relationships of such fantasies with […]

Adolescent Depression: Identification and Intervention

The author believes depressed adolescents are unprepared to meet the tasks of life as a result of being pampered. Consequently, they lack confidence in their own abilities. Anger is often hidden under a mask of helplessness. Hirschorn states “Suicide is an extreme expression of anger in the form of revenge” & advises counsellors to help […]

Suicide as a Psychodynamic Problem of Depression

Suicide is shown as a symptom of depression, & indicates guilt feelings about unallowed aggression. Suicide due to depression is based on the wish for punishment or on disappointment about unfulfilled desires (narcistic anger). It is a reaction to helplessness. But voluntary death can be one kind of self-development, a choice that is not illness. […]

Revenge Suicide and Lusi Women: Deviance or Political Behavior?

The author argues that revenge suicide is not deviant, but a behavioural alternative among the Lusi-speaking Kaliai of NW New Britain. Using numerous case examples, Counts shows that suicide is part of a behavioural pattern for powerless people (often women), that this pattern is communicated in the oral tradition, that it follows rules & has […]

Suicide: Motivation and Prevention

Suicide has been called murder in the 180th degree. An understanding of suicide may be organized around an awareness of what death means to the individual. Psychodynamic constellations are identifiable involving primary orientations toward the act of dying, the end of life, or afterlife. Common motivations are revenge, escape and reunion, respectively.

Adolescent Depression

This article studies the detachment of adolescents from parental authority, an event which may be of critical importance in cases of depressive illness. Etiological factors & therapeutic considerations of adolescent depression are explained in psychoanalytic terms. Self-destructive tendencies may be provoked by frustration arising from external events experienced masochistically as being caused by the self […]

The Moral Meaning of Suicide

A man who kills himself is now increasingly seen as “victim” rather than “evil-doer.” Suicides themselves, in the notes they leave, tend to blame other people.

A Syndrome of Serious Suicidal Intent

Many theorists about suicide have noted aspects of aggression or identification with a lost object. Motives may include revenge, avoiding guilt, or being rescued. In a composite study of seven male patients, the author found these common elements; love for a “harlot”, paranoid jealousy, suspicions confirmed, and suicide attempts. Sexual rejection was compounded by latent […]