Year: 2016 Source: Omega-Journal of Death and dying.(2015).71(20):126-145. doi: 10.1177/0030222815570592 SIEC No: 20160035

This study aimed to explore how the life history of suicide victims with no history of treatment in mental health care or of attempted suicide seemed to presdispose them to maladaptive perfectionism. The study is part of an ongoing psychological autopsy study. It aimed to produce a phenomenological understanding of the vulnerability to suicide related to perfectionism, based on the life history of six male suicide victims aged 22 to 58. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyze the interview data of 41 key informants. Three main themes emerged: (a) exposure to high expectations combined with little recognition and warmth; (b) reduced ability to cope with failures and weaknesses; and (c) fear of emotional rejection. Together these themes illustrate that feelings of shame, mainly resulting from an unfulfilled need for attachment, a desire for love and recognition may relate to maladaptive perfectionism, which influences the suicidal process. The results may have important implications for suicide prevention programs.