Understanding Suicide

The following books are a collection of clinical and scientific analysis of suicide and the underlying medical and mental health causes.  It is estimated that 90% of those who die by suicide had some mental health issues.  These books explore the statistics and medical issues .


To see more about any book, click on the cover or title to be taken to Amazon.com.  While at Amazon.com you can see the reviews by other readers and also read part of the book by using their "Look Inside The Book" feature.  Many of these books are available in hardcover, paperback or Kindle eBook format.

Reading List for Understanding the Causes of Suicide

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674025490/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0674025490&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=J3AJDVSDAYJTSSOE

Why People Die by Suicide

Author: Thomas Joiner
ISBN: 0674025490
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.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375701478/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0375701478&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=2O5UXEVUT3T5UCJK

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide

ISBN: 0375701478
From the author of the best-selling memoir An Unquiet Mind, comes the first major book in a quarter century on suicide, and its terrible pull on the young in particular. Night Falls Fast is tragically timely: suicide has become one of the most common killers of Americans between the ages of fifteen and forty-five.
An internationally acknowledged authority on depressive illnesses, Dr. Jamison has also known suicide firsthand: after years of struggling with manic-depression, she tried at age twenty-eight to kill herself. Weaving together a historical and scientific exploration of the subject with personal essays on individual suicides, she brings not only her remarkable compassion and literary skill but also all of her knowledge and research to bear on this devastating problem. This is a book that helps us to understand the suicidal mind, to recognize and come to the aid of those at risk, and to comprehend the profound effects on those left behind. It is critical reading for parents, educators, and anyone wanting to understand this tragic epidemic.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195118014/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0195118014&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=V2XCEVXGHHR3LWZK

The Suicidal Mind

ISBN: 0195118014
Suicide haunts our literature and our culture, claiming the lives of ordinary people and celebrities alike. It is now the third leading cause of death for fifteen- to twenty-four-year-olds in the United States, raising alarms across the nation about the rising tide of hopelessness seen in our young people. It is a taboo subtext to our successes and our happiness, a dark issue that is often euphemized, avoided, and little understood. In our century, psychology and psychiatry alike have attempted to understand, prevent, and medicalize these phenomena. But they have failed, argues Dr. Edwin Shneidman, because they have lost sight of the plain language, the ordinary everyday words, the pain and frustrated psychological needs of the suicidal individual.
In The Suicidal Mind, Dr. Shneidman has written a groundbreaking work for every person who has ever thought about suicide or knows anybody who has contemplated it. The book brims with insight into the suicidal impulse and with helpful suggestions on how to counteract it. Shneidman presents a bold and simple premise: the main cause of suicide is psychological pain or "psychache." Thus the key to preventing suicide is not so much the study of the structure of the brain, or the study of social statistics, or the study of mental diseases, as it is the direct study of human emotions. To treat a suicidal individual, we need to identify, address, and reduce the individual's psychache. Shneidman shares with the reader his knowledge, both as a clinician and researcher, of the psychological drama that plays itself out in the suicidal mind through the exploration of three moving case studies. We meet Ariel, who set herself on fire; Beatrice, who cut herself with the intent to die; and Castro, a young man who meant to shoot his brains out but survived, horribly disfigured. These cases are presented in the person's own words to reveal the details of the suicidal drama, to show that the purpose of suicide is to seek a solution, to illustrate the pain at the core of suicide, and to isolate the common stressor in suicide: frustrated psychological needs. Throughout, Shneidman offers practical, explicit maneuvers to assist in treating a suicidal individual--steps that can be taken by concerned friends or family and professionals alike.


An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

ISBN: 0679763309
In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.
Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; she has also experienced it firsthand. For even while she was pursuing her career in academic medicine, Jamison found herself succumbing to the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic depressions that afflicted many of her patients, as her disorder launched her into ruinous spending sprees, episodes of violence, and an attempted suicide.

Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062003917/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062003917&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=RV45NOFZ2DRUNR74

Why Suicide?: Questions and Answers About Suicide, Suicide Prevention, and Coping with the Suicide of Someone You Know

Author: Eric Marcus
ISBN: 0062003917
In our lifetimes 85 percent of us will have some up-close experience with the suicide of someone we know.  And more than 20 percent of us will have a family member die by suicide.  Journalist Eric Marcus knows this better than most people.  In 1970, his father took his life at the age of 44.  In 2008, his 49-year-old sister-in-law took her life as well.
In a completely revised and updated edition of the landmark original WHY SUICIDE?, Eric Marcus offers thoughtful answers to scores of questions about this complex, painful issue from how to recognize the signs of someone who is suicidal to strategies for coping in the aftermath of a loved one's death.  
No matter what the circumstances, those of us who are affected by suicide are left with difficult and disturbing questions:
* Why did they do it?
* Was it my fault?
* What should I tell people when they ask what happened?
* Is someone who attempts suicide likely to try again?
* What should I do if I'm thinking of killing myself?
Drawing from his own experience, as well as interviews with people who have been touched by suicide, Eric Marcus cuts through the veil of silence and misunderstanding to bring clarity, reassurance, and comfort to those who so desperately need it


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684836327/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0684836327&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=PEKKXZ6RLQXSTNMG

Suicide: A Study In Sociology

ISBN: 0684836327
A classic book about the phenomenon of suicide and its social causes written by one of the world’s most influential sociologists. Emile Durkheim’s Suicide addresses the phenomenon of suicide and its social causes. Written by one of the world’s most influential sociologists, this classic argues that suicide primarily results from a lack of integration of the individual into society. Suicide provides readers with an understanding of the impetus for suicide and its psychological impact on the victim, family, and society.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674061985/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0674061985&linkCode=as2&tag=sosmadisonnj-20&linkId=ZOW2OFO4WKSXE4WQ

Myths about Suicide

Author: Thomas Joiner
ISBN: 0674061985
Around the world, more than a million people die by suicide each year. Yet many of us know very little about a tragedy that may strike our own loved ones—and much of what we think we know is wrong. This clear and powerful book dismantles myth after myth to bring compassionate and accurate understanding of a massive international killer.
Drawing on a fascinating array of clinical cases, media reports, literary works, and scientific studies, Thomas Joiner demolishes both moralistic and psychotherapeutic clichés. He shows that suicide is not easy, cowardly, vengeful, or selfish. It is not a manifestation of "suppressed rage" or a side effect of medication. Threats of suicide, far from being idle, are often followed by serious attempts. People who are prevented once from killing themselves will not necessarily try again.
The risk for suicide, Joiner argues, is partly genetic and is influenced by often agonizing mental disorders. Vulnerability to suicide may be anticipated and treated. Most important, suicide can be prevented.
An eminent expert whose own father's death by suicide changed his life, Joiner is relentless in his pursuit of the truth about suicide and deeply sympathetic to such tragic waste of life and the pain it causes those left behind.