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Suicide is the intentional act of ending one’s own life. The nature of the intent is not necessarily straightforward, however, because ‘intentional’ assumes that the decision to end one’s life is a conscious and rational one. People experiencing mental health problems do not necessarily make conscious and rational decisions because distorted thinking is a common feature of many mental health problems. For example, ‘catastrophizing’ (believing situations are far worse than they actually are) is a cognitive distortion common in anxiety disorders, and ‘anhedonia’ (feeling no pleasure in everyday activities) is a feature of many depressive disorders.

The term ‘commit suicide’ is no longer generally accepted in the mental health field because of its past association with criminality (when suicide was seen as a crime); instead, terms ...

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