Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind

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Oxford University Press, Feb 26, 2004 - Psychology - 208 pages
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Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind is a uniquely intensive psychological analysis of a suicidal mind. In this poignant scientific study, Edwin S. Shneidman, a founder of the field of suicidology, assembles an extraordinary cast of eight renowned experts to analyze the suicidal materials, including a ten-page suicide note, given to him by a distraught mother looking for insights into her son's tragic death. The psychological autopsy centers on the interviews conducted by Shneidman with Arthur's mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, ex-wife, girlfriend, psychotherapist, and attending physician. To gain some understanding of this man's intense psychological pain and to examine what may have been done to save his tortured life, Shneidman approached the top suicide experts in the country to analyze the note and interviews: Morton Silverman, Robert E. Litman, Jerome Motto, Norman L. Farberow, John T. Maltsberger, Ronald Maris, David Rudd, and Avery D. Weisman. Each of the eight experts offers a unique perspective on Arthur's tragic fate, and the sum of their conclusions constitutes an extraordinary psychological autopsy. This book is the first of its kind and a remarkable contribution to the study of suicide. Mental health professionals, students of human nature, and persons whose lives have been touched by this merciless topic will be mesmerized and enlightened by this unique volume. An epistemological tour de force, it will speak to anyone who is concerned with human self-destruction.
 

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Contents

2 About Suicide Notes
7
3 Consultation by Morton Silverman MD
11
4 Interview with the Mother
23
5 The Idea of a Psychological Autopsy
31
6 Interview with the Father
35
7 Consultation by Robert E Litman MD
45
8 Consultation by Jerome Motto MD
49
9 Consultation by Norman L Farberow PhD
59
15 Interview with the ExWife
105
16 Interview with the Girlfriend
115
17 Interview with the Psychotherapist
125
18 Consultation by David Rudd PhD
137
19 Interview with the Psychiatrist
143
20 Consultation by Avery Weisman MD
151
21 Letter to the Mother
159
Arthurs Suicide Note
165

10 Interview with the Brother
67
11 Interview with the Sister
75
12 Consultation by John T Maltsberger MD
85
13 Interview with the Pal
91
14 Consultation by Ronald Maris PhD
99

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About the author (2004)

Edwin S. Shneidman, Ph.D., is Professor of Thanatology Emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is the founder of the American Association of Suicidology, and the author of Voices of Death, Definition of Suicide, and Deaths of Man, which was nominated for a
National Book Award.

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