Why People Die by Suicide

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2005 - Psychology - 276 pages
28 Reviews

In the wake of a suicide, the most troubling questions are invariably the most difficult to answer: How could we have known? What could we have done? And always, unremittingly: Why? Written by a clinical psychologist whose own life has been touched by suicide, this book offers the clearest account ever given of why some people choose to die.

Drawing on extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence, as well as personal experience, Thomas Joiner brings a comprehensive understanding to seemingly incomprehensible behavior. Among the many people who have considered, attempted, or died by suicide, he finds three factors that mark those most at risk of death: the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; the sense of isolation; and, chillingly, the learned ability to hurt oneself. Joiner tests his theory against diverse facts taken from clinical anecdotes, history, literature, popular culture, anthropology, epidemiology, genetics, and neurobiology--facts about suicide rates among men and women; white and African-American men; anorexics, athletes, prostitutes, and physicians; members of cults, sports fans, and citizens of nations in crisis.

The result is the most coherent and persuasive explanation ever given of why and how people overcome life's strongest instinct, self-preservation. Joiner's is a work that makes sense of the bewildering array of statistics and stories surrounding suicidal behavior; at the same time, it offers insight, guidance, and essential information to clinicians, scientists, and health practitioners, and to anyone whose life has been affected by suicide.

  

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Review: Why People Die by Suicide

User Review  - Lorilee - Goodreads

Informative about the theories of suicide, and he himself has a compelling theory. However, the book becomes pretty repetitive by the middle to the end. The book really does focus completely on ... Read full review

Review: Why People Die by Suicide

User Review  - Brad - Goodreads

I read this while doing research for a fictional work. I would recommend it to anyone considering creating a suicidal character. I'm sure I will revisit the pages of notes I took. Thankfully, though ... Read full review

Contents

What We Know and Dont Know about Suicide
16
The Capability to Enact Lethal SelfInjury Is Acquired
46
The Desire for Death
94
What do We Mean bu Suicide? How is it Distributed in People?
137
What Roles Do Genetics Neurobiology and Mental Disorders Play in Suicidal Behavior?
172
Risk Assessment Crisis Intervention Treatment and Prevention
203
The Future of Suicide Prevention and Research
223
Epilogue
231
Notes
235
Works Cited
243
Acknowledgments
267
Index
271
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About the author (2005)

Thomas Joineris Bright-Burton Professor of Psychology atFlorida State University.

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