Need for affect, interpersonal psychological theory of suicide, and suicide proneness

The present study expands upon the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS), examining its relationship with the need for affect (NFA), a construct explaining attitudes toward seeking both positive and negative emotions. A sample of 576 emerging adults completed measures of NFA, IPTS, suicide proneness, and demographics online. Findings include NFA accounting for a small […]

Understanding and Preventing Suicide: the Development of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them

This book is meant to provide a full-spectrum view of suicide & recovery for both suicidal people & those bereaved by suicide. To create a better understanding of the suicidal mind, the factors that lead to self-destructive acts are examined. A new model designed for the professional bereaved by client suicide is included. The final […]

A Theory of Suicide Addiction

The author found that in a study of 50 selected patients, there was an overwhelming presence of 7 characteristics of addiction as they apply directly to suicide, suggesting an addiction to suicidal fantasies & behaviours. Possible predisposition, neurochemistry, & progression of the illness are discussed. The author posits that mood alteration is the critical element […]

Self-Reported Life-Weariness, Death-Wishes, Suicidal Ideation, Suicidal Plans and Suicide Attempts in General Population Surveys in the North of Sweden 1986 and 1996

The aims of study were to assess the prevalence of suicidal expression in the general population, to compare prevalence over time, to identify risk groups & to examine the evidence regarding the proposition that there is a continuous sequence of suicidal expressions with an underlying gradient of severity. 34% reported some degree of suicidal expression […]

Suicide and the Method of Introspection

This paper is an exercise in the use of the method of introspection. Societal attitudes toward suicide & the relationship of suicide to murder are discussed. The author then discusses the techniques he used to make the “imaginery leap” to bridge the gap between himself & the suicidal act, including talking to a psychologist who […]

Two Approaches to Suicide Risk Estimation

The Savage God (IN: On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by J Miller)

Alvarez discusses the logic of suicide, arguing that suicide is a closed world with its own irresistible logic. Different types of suicides are described, e.g. the perfectionist who cannot tolerate one aspect of himself or the individual for whom suicide is a vocation. In the latter part of the chapter, Alvarez discusses his own suicide […]

Not With my Life I Don’t. Preventing Your Suicide and That of Others


The Role of Attributions in Self-Poisoning

In this study, 60 patients who had taken an overdose of drugs within the previous 24 hours completed the Attributional Style Questionnaire & the Profile of Mood States scale, & were compared to a control group. The authors found that overdose patients had significantly higher stable & global attributions for negative events than controls. As […]

Ego Structure and Object Differentiation in Suicidal Patients (IN: Primitive Mental States and the Rorschach, ed. by H D Lerner & P M Lerner)

This article is based on an “ego vulnerabilities” approach to suicide assessment. The authors believe that certain patterns of ego functions predispose a person, who is facing major life frustrations, to suicidal behavior. Assessing suicidality can therefore be aided by analyzing ego structures & dynamic motivations, & looking at external events which may be perceived […]

Harnessing the Forces of Self-Destruction for Creativity

The author explores the link between creativity and suicide. He notes famous people who have suffered from affective illnesses – some who committed suicide and some who did not. He asserts that disorders which affect moods often lead to impulsiveness, which can translate into destructive behaviour, like suicide, or productive behaviour, like writing, painting, or […]

Single-Sign Rorschach Suicide Indicators: a Validity Study Using a Depressed Inpatient Population

This study tests the validity of using single responses on the Rorschach as a indicators of current suicidal risk. Applebaum & Holzman’s (1962) color-shading sign was found to be related to low suicidal risk. Blatt & Ritzler’s (1974) transparency sign was found to be unrelated to current suicide risk but still related to a past […]

Introduction to Suicidology (IN: Suicide Intervention by Nurses, ed. by M. Miller)

This introductory chapter reviews many aspects of suicide. Definitions of self-destructive behaviors (e.g. attempted suicide, suicidal gestures) & characteristics of typical suicidal persons are given. The etiology of suicide, ambivalence & its relation to suicide, the illogic of the suicidal mind, & the involvment of significant others are discussed. Losses involving self-image & significant others, […]

Personality Disorder and Suicide Intent

Studies have shown a link between seriousness of suicide attempt & personality. Of 60 patients, 65% had a personality disorder, mainly of the explosive type. It was more common in men & the dimension measuring sociopathy was equivocally linked to males. There was no correlation between dimensional or categorical measures of personality & suicide intent […]

Characteristics of Suicidal Individuals: a Review

Reviews demographic & personality characteristics of suicidal individuals, subdividing them into adaptive & maladaptive characteristics. Suicidal individuals are said to have moods that are depressed, arousable, & socially isolated. Cognitively, they are hopeless, field dependent, rigid, & impulsive, & they hold negative dependencies about the future. Discusses implications for intervention. 78 refs.

Suicide: The Quest for a Future (IN: Suicide: Understanding and Responding: Harvard Medical School Perspectives, ed. by D Jacobs and H N Brown)

Examines historical or social suicide in the context of the individual, suggesting that some general principles can be found in the literature & offering the hypothesis that there are 3 basic psychic components of suicide. The operation of these principles & components is illustrated by a celebrated public suicide, that of Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima. […]

The Suicide Syndrome: Origins, Manifestations, and Alleviation of Human Self-Destructiveness (RC 569 G47 1985)

The “suicide syndrome” is a developmental approach to suicide, which starts in infancy and results in the expression of three adult suicidal types: the antipathic, synpathic and apathic suicidal personalities. Different motivations and crises are defined for each type and methodologies for treating them are discussed.

Personality Patterns of Suicidal Mental Hospital Patients

The purpose of the study was to define, by means of psychological tests, certain personality traits of suicidal patients, & to determine if there are differences between suicidal subgroups. 96 male hospital patients were separated into serious attempt, non-serious, & control groups. Significant differences were found between suicidals & controls, the former exhibiting more disturbed […]

Suicide Among Gifted Women: A Prospective Study

Longitudinal Data from the Terman Genetic Studies of Genius were used to predict suicide in 40 women: 8 suicides, 15 women who were matched with the suicides on age of death, and 17 subjects who were still living in 1964. Seven variables from the subjects’ files were assessed as possible predictors of suicide. The results […]

Alternative Self-Destruction

Data from 63 respondents indicate significant relationships between both suicide proneness and self-destructive behavior and reverence for life but not with self-worth. Need for research includes construction of a different measure of self-worth and creation of typologies to compare correlates of suicide-proneness and of self-destruction.

Individual Behavior and Suicide (IN: Suicide, ed. by J P Gibbs)

Reviews research findings which suggest that suicide is associated with physical/mental illness, alcoholism, & economic failure, all of which tend to result in disrupted social relations. Suicide is also said to be related to the communication of intent. The general conclusion is that interpersonal elements, particularly disruptive social relations, are crucial etiological factors in suicide.

Cutting Number of Chronic Callers

A controlled experiment with chronic callers to a suicide prevention center revealed that calls were reduced when the center personnel called the chronic caller once a week, set a one-hour time limit for calls, & assigned a specific counsellor to the caller.

Suicidal Types According to MMPI

A controlled study of 100 suicidal individuals (50 males, 50 females, mean age 21.5), a like number of people without psychiatric anamnesis, & a verified group of 35 males & 35 females, all tested with the MMAI, revealed certain profile characteristics. In the male suicidal group, 4 clusters that can be divided into 8 subroups […]