Valtonen & al assessed patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder and determined that
hopelessness predicted suicidal behaviour during depressive phases, whereas a subjective rating of
severity od depression and younger age predicted suicide attempts during mixed phases.
A significant number of people who are not depressed make suicidal attemps, some with success
– most notable people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
PERSPECTIVES ON SUICIDE:
Berkheim’s sociological Theory:
• Durkheim distinguished three different kinds of suicide:
o Egoistic suicide: committed by people who have few ties to family, society, or
community. These people fel alienated from others and cut off from the social
supports that are important to keep them functioning adaptively as social beings.
o Altruistic Suicide: is viewed as a response to societal demands. Some people who
commit suicide feel very much a part of a group and sacrifice themselves for what
they take to be the goof of society.
o Anomic suicide: triggered by a sudden change in a person’s relationship to society.
A successful executive who suffers severe financial reverses may experience anomie,
a sense of disorientation, beucase what he or she believed to be a normal way of
living is no longer possible.
• Risk factor model: four categories of relevant factors:
Predisposing factors are enduring factors that make a person vulnerable to
suicidal behaviour(e.g psychological disorder, abuse, early loss.)
Precipitating factors are acute factors that create a crisis (e.g. end of a
relationship, job loss)...
Contributing factors (e.g. physical illness, sexual identity issues, isolation).
Protective factors decrease the risk of suicidal behaviours (e.g. personal
resilience, adaptive coping skills)...
• Baumeister’s Exape Theory and Perfectionism:
Holds that some suicides arise from a strong desire to escape from aversive
self-awareness, from the painful awareness of shortcomings and failures that
the person attributes to himself.
A discrepancy between high expectations for intimacy and a reality that falls
• Shneidman’s Approach:
Regards suicide as a conscious effort to seek a solution to a problem that is
causing intense and intolerable psychological suffering and pain, or what he
refers to as “psychache”.
To the sufferer, this solution ends consciousness and unendurable pain.
• Perfection and Moderator Hypothesis:
Perfectionism is a personality trait that poses a dispositional vulnerability to
negative outcomes, and components of perfectionism may interact with
negative life events or other factors such as coping strategies or social support
to trigger a chain of events that ultimately lead to suicidality.
• Additional Psychological Factors:
Suicidal individuals are more rigid in heir approach t