ERIC Number: ED264506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug-23
Reference Count: 0
Ten Commonalities of Suicide and Some Implications for Public Policy.
Shneidman, Edwin S.
This paper describes 10 common characteristics of suicide that pertain to suicide committed at any age. Each characteristic is defined and analyzed, with specific approaches to treatment identified. The 10 characteristics, based on clinical experience and the relevant work of others, are listed. The commonalities discussed include: (1) the common purpose of suicide (to seek a solution); (2) the common goal of suicide (cessation of consciousness); (3) the common stimulus (psychological pain); (4) the common stressor (frustrated psychological needs); (5) the common emotion (hopelessness-helplessness); (6) the common internal attitude toward suicide (ambivalence); (7) the common cognitive state (constriction); (8) the common action (escape); (9) the common interpersonal act (communication of intention); and (10) the common consistency in suicide (lifelong coping patterns). Several hypotheses are proposed about the implications of this view of suicide for public policy. The hypotheses suggest that the more identifiable the risk, the more targeted will be the public response to relieve it; the more focused the political activity on behalf of potential victims, the more intense will be the public policy on that general topic; the more elevated the status of the potential victims, the more intense will be the public policy response (or vice versa); and the more congruent the prevention strategies are with current political and policy trends, the more active will be the public response on that topic. (ABB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).