Suicide And Shneidman 's Theory Of Suicide

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There are several theories that attempt to understand suicide, such as Durkheim’s Sociological Theory of Suicide and Shneidman’s Theory of Suicide as Psychache. However, one of the newest and most well known theories is Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. The goal of this theory is to understand suicide at an interpersonal level. More specifically, it evaluates why individuals engage in suicidal behavior and identifies individuals who are at risk for engaging in such behaviors. There are three main components of Joiner’s theory, including thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability.
The first component, thwarted belongingness, incorporates interpersonal factors such as loneliness and lack of reciprocal care. This component alone is believed to produce passive suicidal ideation. The second component, perceived burdensomeness, involves interpersonal factors such as self-hate and feeling like a liability. This component alone is also noted to produce passive suicidal ideation. Although each component by itself only results in passive ideation, or an “I wish I was dead” perspective, the combination of these two components results in hopelessness. This hopelessness evolves into an actual desire for suicide, or an “I want to die” perspective. According to Joiner’s theory, this desire for suicide by itself will not turn into an actual suicide attempt. Instead, an acquired capability is required in order for an individual to attempt suicide.
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