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Chapter 10

Lecture + chapter 10 study guide

Course Code
Martha Mc Kay

of 2
Males commit suicide more than females probably because the methods they use get
the job done, but women attempt it more
Problem among people of Aboriginal descent
Immigrants in Canada commit suicide less than native-born Canadians
Older youth commit more suicide
Types: Death Seekers- who prepare to end their life, writing about it, buying a gun
Death Initiators- think they are just hastening an inevitable death
Death Ignorers- think their death is the beginning to a new life
Death Darers- try to seek attention through their death and make others feel guilty
Parasuicide- Intentional but non-fatal self-injury
Understanding causes of suicide hampered by: 1. selective reporting by family
members; 2. most who contemplate do not commit; 3. its relative rarity presents a
challenge for scientific study
One in four persons committing suicide leaves a note; notes can help us understand,
but in a limited way, and must be interpreted with caution
In Canada, the McGill Group for Suicide Studies is moving our knowledge forward
Social Perspectives
Economic hardship - People who are chronically impoverished or who have recently
lost a job are at increased risk.
Loss and abuse - People who have experienced a loss or abuse in the distant or
recent past are at increased risk.
Serious illness People with serious illnesses are at increased risk.
Suicide contagion - When one member of a group commits suicide, others are at
increased risk for suicide, perhaps due to “contagioneffects, modelling, increased
acceptability, or impact of the traumatic event on already vulnerable people.
This clustering is typically sparked by the suicide of someone who is known but
sometimes by the suicide of a celebrity (e.g., Marilyn Monroe, Nirvanas Kurt Cobain)
Egoistic suicide by people feeling alienated from and unsupported by others
Anomic suicide by people disoriented by shift of role and perceived worth in society
Altruistic suicide by people believing that their death will benefit society
Psychodynamic- extreme expression of anger because the love object abandonment
Mental Disorders- increases risk, e.g bipolar, depression etc.
Impulsivity- People who commit suicide generally commit impulsive acts
Cognitive Theories- Hopelessness and dichotomous thinking increase risk for suicide
Genetic- disordered genes increase risk
Neurotransmitter- deficiencies in serotonin lead to impulsivity and violence and suicidal
Community-based prevention
Crisis intervention programs, suicide hotlines
Drug treatments
Lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),
-in special circumstances antipsychotics
Psychological treatments
Dialectical behaviour therapy and other psychotherapies
Guns and suicide
-The mere presence of a firearm in the house appears to be a risk factor for suicide.
-There was an immediate reduction in firearm suicides in Canada after the introduction
of Bill C-51 requiring certification of all firearms.
Do we have the right to take our lives?
What about assisted suicide?