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Suicide

  • By: Kimberly A. Van Orden, Theodore W. Bender & Thomas E. Joiner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one's life. This definition, however, has been expanded to describe the range of thoughts and behaviors that are exhibited by individuals who are in some manner considering suicide. Suicidal ideation involves having thoughts of killing oneself or of being dead. Suicidal intent involves having a plan for how to kill oneself and intending to carry that plan out. Suicidal behavior is a broad term that includes all actions related to suicide (i.e., all the terms in this paragraph), but also includes some behaviors not captured by the other terms listed here, including actions related to suicide that did not result in an attempt, such as gathering bottles of pills (without taking them), or tying a noose (without using ...

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