Why People Die by Suicide

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - Psychology - 276 pages
4 Reviews
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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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Why people die by suicide

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Guggenheim Award winner Joiner (psychology, Florida State Univ.) provides a fascinating contribution to psychological literature that is certain to join the ranks of mile Durkheim's Suicide and Karl ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marti.booker - LibraryThing

Not a great book. More like "I have a theory. I am going to repeat it until you believe it." But I didn't believe it. Read full review


What We Know and Dont Know about Suicide
The Capability to Enact Lethal SelfInjury Is Acquired
The Desire for Death
What do We Mean bu Suicide? How is it Distributed in People?
What Roles Do Genetics Neurobiology and Mental Disorders Play in Suicidal Behavior?
Risk Assessment Crisis Intervention Treatment and Prevention
The Future of Suicide Prevention and Research
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About the author (2005)

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

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