Making Sense of Suicide: An in-Depth Look at why People Kill Themselves / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: David C. Clark, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book devotes most of its attention to organizing knowledge about suicidal behavior
Purpose: The author aims to interpret and integrate research on suicidal behavior, particularly motives for suicidal behavior, to provide an encyclopedic reference volume, and to summarize facts everyone should know to optimize suicide prevention efforts. Most books about the problem of suicide fail to achieve the smooth integration of studies and facts exemplified here. There is an important place for books that attempt to synthesize knowledge about suicidal behavior. The volume tends toward shallow coverage of clinical matters, such as the recognition of suicide risk, evaluation of suicide potential, the treatment and management of suicidal patients.
Audience: This book is designed as a general reference resource for the layperson. Medical students may find it useful as an incomplete introduction to the field of suicide. Psychiatric and emergency medicine specialists will find that the book lacks the clinical focus and breadth that might aid them in clinical decision-making. Yet the material covered tends to be authoritative. Dr. Lester is a productive investigator and writer who has made valuable contributions to the field of suicide studies.
Features: The book is a slim, attractive paperback of 195 pages and is organized well. The author provides very thoughtful coverage of a broad range of epidemiological and sociological issues. The index is useful. There are no figures to help the reader digest the fascinating complexity of epidemiological trends, and so the reader is deprived of the great variety of insightful illustrations help orient the newcomer to this field. Each chapter tends to be draw on a number of illustrative references, but many important references do not appear, and some of the epidemiological data is not thoroughly current.
Assessment: In this lucid and far-ranging resource book, Dr. Lester provides the layperson with a marvelous synthesis of knowledge gleaned from a multitude of studies reported over decades. Although the medical professional may not find guidance for making clinical decisions in the volume, the book does constitute an articulate introduction to the broad context of suicidal studies and suicidal behavior and may be useful as a supplement to more psychiatric reference resources.
David C. Clark
This book devotes most of its attention to organizing knowledge about suicidal behavior The author aims to interpret and integrate research on suicidal behavior, particularly motives for suicidal behavior, to provide an encyclopedic reference volume, and to summarize facts everyone should know to optimize suicide prevention efforts. Most books about the problem of suicide fail to achieve the smooth integration of studies and facts exemplified here. There is an important place for books that attempt to synthesize knowledge about suicidal behavior. The volume tends toward shallow coverage of clinical matters, such as the recognition of suicide risk, evaluation of suicide potential, the treatment and management of suicidal patients. This book is designed as a general reference resource for the layperson. Medical students may find it useful as an incomplete introduction to the field of suicide. Psychiatric and emergency medicine specialists will find that the book lacks the clinical focus and breadth that might aid them in clinical decision-making. Yet the material covered tends to be authoritative. Dr. Lester is a productive investigator and writer who has made valuable contributions to the field of suicide studies. The book is a slim, attractive paperback of 195 pages and is organized well. The author provides very thoughtful coverage of a broad range of epidemiological and sociological issues. The index is useful. There are no figures to help the reader digest the fascinating complexity of epidemiological trends, and so the reader is deprived of the great variety of insightful illustrations help orient the newcomer to this field. Each chapter tends to be draw on a number ofillustrative references, but many important references do not appear, and some of the epidemiological data is not thoroughly current. In this lucid and far-ranging resource book, Dr. Lester provides the layperson with a marvelous synthesis of knowledge gleaned from a multitude of studies reported over decades. Although the medical professional may not find guidance for making clinical decisions in the volume, the book does constitute an articulate introduction to the broad context of suicidal studies and suicidal behavior and may be useful as a supplement to more psychiatric reference resources.
Library Journal
Lester, the author of numerous articles and books about suicide and murder, including The Cruelest Death: The Enigma of Adolescent Suicide (LJ 2/15/93), examines here the "pervasiveness and seriousness" of attempted and completed suicides so that readers will "seek information on their own and make sure they learn how to respond" to such behavior. The chapter divisions and straightforward style make this an ideal starting place for higher-level students in search of an overview of current suicide research and statistics. Lester discusses suicide as it relates to heredity and environment, mental illness, personality, and even the significance (or lack thereof) of time, season, and weather on suicide rates. He includes an extensive bibliography for each chapter, offering an excellent jumping-off place for further research. There is also an annotated list of Internet sites and organizations that focus on suicide. The author's styledidactic rather than emotionalis aimed at those seeking facts, not solace. Current, well documented, and thought-provoking, this book will make a useful addition to large public and academic libraries.Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780914783824
  • Publisher: Charles Press Pubs(PA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 195
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Suicide: A Meaningful Behavior 1
2 Problems in Suicide Research 11
3 Labeling Death: Taxonomies of Dying 20
4 Heredity, Environment and Suicide 28
5 Childhood Experiences and Suicide Later in Life 39
6 Personality and Suicide 47
7 Aggression and Suicide 55
8 Suicide and Homicide 59
9 The Social Context of Suicide 69
10 Suicidal Communications and the Suicide Note 77
11 How the Suicidal Person Thinks 87
12 Gender Differences in Suicidal Behavior 93
13 Young People, African Americans and Native Americans 100
14 Sociological Factors in Suicide 111
15 Sociological Theories of Suicide 123
16 Drugs, Alcohol and Suicidal Behavior 135
17 Mental Illness and Suicide 141
18 Time, Season, Weather and Suicide 152
19 An Individual Case of Suicide 157
20 Preventing Suicide: What Everyone Should Know 167
Index 187
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