Suicide as Psychache: A Clinical Approach to Self-destructive Behavior

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This is an important book that no suicidologist should be without. In it, the author, Edwin S. Shneidman, brings together work he undertook and completed between 1971 and 1993. This work includes an empirical study, some single case studies, some theoretical think pieces, and some suggestions for psychotherapy. In this volume, Suicide as Psychache: A Clinical Approach to Self-Destructive Behavior, Shneidman introduces the concept of psychache, adding to the existing vocabulary on suicide to which he has contributed so generously. Shneidman defines psychache as the hurt, anguish, soreness, aching, psychological pain in the mind. Suicide occurs, he says, when the person experiencing the psychache deems the pain unbearable, suicide having to do with differences in individual thresholds for enduring psychological pain. Other concepts that bear Shneidman's imprint include suicidology, psychological autopsy, postvention, subintentional death, and postself.