SUICIDE EXPLAINED: A Neuropsychological Approach
Finally a book that explains suicide, a must read for the survivors of suicide who want to understand why suicide happens and it also should prove extremely helpful for anyone suffering mental disorders. The material in this book should be incorporated into the curriculum of psychology and psychiatry because suicide is such a vital topic hardly covered in medical schools. It is an important book for all professionals who deal with mental disorders in general and suicide in particular. It is the author’s fourth book where suicide is explained, not as a mysterious process, but as a natural consequence of the reactions of the brain under certain conditions when suffering mental disorders.
In this book on suicide, the author begins with a brief summary of the statistics of the who’s,. the how’s and the where’s of suicide. This gives us a clear idea of the magnitude of the problem of suicide, of the cost, not only in lives, but of the emotional toll of the survivors, as well as the financial burdens on society as a whole. Then, as an important first step to understanding the medical community’s standard approaches to mental disease, he reviews briefly the current psychiatric terminology and the diagnostic tools concerning mental disorders.
He presents the most accepted current theories and models of suicide. He explains what a psychiatric emergency is and what to expect if one ever encounters such a situation. And he explains how suicide risk assessment is currently done, along with other important considerations.
He proceeds to explain in every day language, where possible, his theory of how the brain works, beginning with a simple explanation of how neurons communicate with each other. Later he explains how the brain controls the body, and how we see with the back of our heads; how memory systems become a logical extension or expansion of our sensory and motor systems. Awareness and attention are introduced, first as an evolutionary tool that aids the senses gather more information from the environment, and ultimately as tools that aid in thinking, reasoning, and constructing our past, our lives, and our identities.
But all this would mean nothing without the introduction of emotions and how the brain constructs contexts. He explains how emotions are an integral part of memories, and how these are related to contexts; how, basically, the brain has created a very concise and compact filing memory system. A clear explanation of how emotions are triggered, regulated and dissipated is next. These leads to a learned discussion of how these various systems can go haywire leading to mental disorders. A brief, but perhaps new and revolutionary approach to these mental disorders is presented next, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Delirium, Dementia, and Other Amnestic Disorders, Manic Depression and Depression, and Schizophrenia. Ultimately, it becomes clear how, under certain conditions, these disorders can lead to suicide.
He then presents a suicide autopsy as an exercise to show how varied the opinions of experts in the field of suicidology are and compares it to his own theories and lets the reader decide for himself who is closer to the truth.
Finally, he gives a few words of advice on various therapies and the rationality of their approaches and cautions against their limitations. He closes with some important suggestions of how to lessen suicide rates, particularly among the young.
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