Psychache and suicide ideation among men who are homeless: a test of Shneidman’s model.

Suicide ideation among the homeless is 10 times more common than in the general population. Cognitive theories of depression and hopelessness propose to explain suicidality; however, as yet, none of these fully account for the phenomenon. Shneidman has suggested a theory of psychache or unbearable psychological pain to explain suicidality. This theory has found support […]

Testing Shneidman’s Theory of Suicide: Psychache as a Prospective Predictor of Suicidality and Comparison With Hopelessness

Two studies are presented in this thesis that test Shneidman’s theory, & compare the influence of psychache on suicidality relative to that of hopelessness. In the first study, a causal hypothesis was examined using a longitudinal design. 558 undergraduates completed measures of psychache, hopelessness, & suicide ideation at 2 time points 4 months apart. Results […]

Cognition and Suicide: Theory, Research, and Therapy

The chapters in this edited book cover theory, research, & clinical applications of cognitive therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, voice therapy, & constructivism. The book also explores the cognitive aspects of suicidality, such as overgeneral memory, body-mind connection, perfectionism, problem solving deficits, & the ameliorating effects positive cognitions have. Finally, it examines […]

Book Review-The Suicidal Mind by E S Shneidman


Preventing Self-Harm in Prison: the Role of Prison Officers

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

Toward a Phenomenological Understanding of Suicide

The authors summarize a study using Shneidman’s articulation of the 10 suicide commonalities & his description of the theoretical cubic model of suicide for understanding the reconstructed narrative of a suicidal individual as she moved toward making a suicide attempt. To better understand the relationship between the commonalities & the cubic model, the authors focus […]

Suicide Types: Theories of Suicide (IN: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, vol.2: L-Z, ed. by R Kastenbaum)

The author provides a history of theoretical approaches to explaining suicide, beginning with the seminal theories of Freud & Durkheim, & then turning to more recent theories developed by suicidologists in order to account for individual suicides as well as the suicide rates within a society. (14 refs)

Mental Pain and its Relationship to Suicidality and Life Meaning


Psychache and Suicidality in Adult Mood Disordered Outpatients in Brazil


Mental Pain: Conceptualization and Clinical Aspects

Published in “Suicide Risk & Protective Factors in the New Millennium,” ed. by O T Grad

Suicide Across the Life Span: Pathways to Prevention

Using the framework provided by the transactional model of human development, the central implications that a developmental perspective has for suicide prevention are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on: the need to consider multiple pathways to prevention; prevention strategies that have their impace earlier in the life course & earlier in the course of mental disorder; […]

Theories of Suicidal Behavior Applied to Sylvia Plath

The suicide of Sylvia Plath is examined from the perspectives of 15 theories of suicidal behaviour including: Adler, Beck, Binswanger, Freud, Henry & Short, Jung, Kelly, Leenaars, Lester, Maris, Menninger, Murray, Shneidman, Sullivan, & Zilboorg. Plath’s suicide is found to fit best with psychoanalytic & cognitive theories of suicide, in particular those of Aaron Beck, […]

Perturbation and Lethality: From Fuzzy Distinction to Sharp Contrast

Borowski: “Love Circles Above me Like Human Smoke”

The Psychology of Suicide (IN: Focus Group on Suicide Prevention: Presentations, by Department of Health, Medical Services Branch)

Suicide is an act of intentional self-destruction which may be studied from a number of disciplines. This chapter reviews the psychological approach & relies heavily on Shneidman’s Theory which incorporates 6 aspects & 10 commonalities of suicide. There is some discussion of the interpersonal elements of suicide, e.g. communication of suicidal intent, & psychological correlates […]

Public Option, Private Choice: Impact of Culture on Suicide (IN: The Impact of Suicide, edited by B L Mishara)

In this chapter the social context of suicide is examined following the thesis that lethality for the individual is shaped by views within a particular culture about choices regarding unbearable perturbation. Suicide is viewed as an idea. Areas for further research are suggested. (71 refs.)