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Why People Die by Suicide

ISBN-10: 0674025490
ISBN-13: 9780674025493
Edition: 2005
Authors: Thomas Joiner
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.50
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/30/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

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.

Acknowledgments
Prologue: Losing My Dad
What We Know and Don't Know About Suicide
The Acquired Ability to Enact Lethal Self-Injury
The Desire for Death
What Do We Mean By Suicide and How Is It Distributed in People?
Genetics and Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior, and the Roles of Impulsivity, Childhood Adversity, and Mental Disorders
Risk Assessment, Crisis Intervention, Treatment, and Prevention
Summary and Conclusion
Epilogue

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