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Book Cover for: Suicide, David Aldridge


David Aldridge

Since the early 1960s there has been an enormous increase in the numbers of cases of suicide, self-mutilation and depression, adolescents and the elderly being high-risk groups. Suicidal behaviour has become a major health-care issue.

David Aldridge argues that although western culture has traditionally understood suicide to be the choice of the individual, this is a misleading perception. While the patient may feel as though he or she is acting in isolation, the reasons for suicide and self-mutilation are essentially social. Attention should therefore be focused to a far greater extent on the patient's social environment, and any treatment should also involve the family. Drawing on case studies as well as research statistics, Aldridge constructs a background against which suicidal behaviour can be perceived not as irrational and unpredictable, but as an understandable response to social disruption, isolation, conflict and neglect. He investigates the complex web of prejudices surrounding our society's view of suicide, and looks at ways of developing more effective preventative strategies.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Publish Date: Nov 1st, 1997
  • Pages: 320
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.18in - 6.16in - 0.70in - 1.06lb
  • EAN: 9781853024443
  • Categories: SuicideMental Health

About the Author

David Aldridge is Professor for Clinical Research Methods in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Witten-Herdecke. He is the author of Music Therapy Research and Practice in Medicine: From Out of the Silence published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Praise for this book
`I found this book a refreshing and very interesting read. It would be relevant to clinicians across specialties as it describes a way of formulating suicide and suicidal behaviour across the life span. It also helps to move away from a dialogue of criticism and blame that often results from an analysis of suicidal behaviour that places responsibility with an individual. By taking a systems perspective a more rich and dynamic story emerges.'--Book Reviews
`The book is easy to read and I highly recommend it to people interested in theory on suicide and those who daily work with families who need help. The book gives an extended view on the subject and is updated on the theories and thoughts within suicide-prevention and family therapy.'--Nordic Journal of Music Therapy
`This book is a welcome development in the application of systems theory to clinical problems.'--Child Psychlogy and Psychiatry
`This book takes a personal view of the tragedy of suicide while setting this against the background of quite a lot of useful factual information. Aldridge says that his motivation for writing the book was to explain to his daughter what had happened to her friend, who killed herself unexpectedly. This motivation is evident only in the shape of a direct and individualistic style of writing, which makes the book relevant and readable...The book looks briefly at the history of suicide and at the various studies on suicide that have been made in the past. It also takes the trouble of considering suicide from a number of different perspectives, including an ethnographic one, an ecological one, an anthropological one and a psychological one. This interdisciplinary approach improves overall understanding of the subject. The book includes sections on families and suicide, on systematic approaches, on distress management and on the politics of dying and self-mutilation... One of the strengths of the book is the great variety of explanations for sucidal behaviour that are given ... Aldridge's ecological model of suicide prevention is a useful one and deserves to be taken seriously. His reflections on the social isolation of suicidal individuals who become singled out as deviant and as 'doing everything wrong' rings true.'--The European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health
`One of the strengths of the book is the great variety of explanations for suicidal behaviour that are given. These range from seeing suicide as a form of aggression to seeing at as a benevolent though misguided attempt at keeping a family together. Suicide is seen by some as a metaphorical communication about life and death, by others as a breakdown in communication. Aldridge extracts from these various interpretations a model that can explain what goes wrong in a family when someone is suicidal. Aldridge's ecological model of suicide prevention is a useful one, and deserves to be taken seriously. His reflections on the social isolation of suicidal individuals who become singled out as deviant and as `doing everything wrong' rings true. He speaks of desertification, which occurs when the person has no more resources or contacts left to draw on.'--The European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health
`David Aldridge has been studying the phenomenon of suicide for many years ... His knowledge is encyclopedic, and the bulk of the book covers a wide range of approaches and perspectives on the issue, from the personal to the political.'--Community Care
This clearly written book will be of significant interest to students, practitioners and educators in health and welfare. The text is well organised, providing a useful range of tables and figures, and an impressive range of references.'--Journal of Community Nursing
`Aldridge gives us a clear and cogent exposition of suicidal behaviour viewed from a number of perspectives and he evinces genuine concern for what constitutes the most effective treatment would be of interest to social workers, counsellors and anyone wishing to understand suicidal behaviour.'--International Journal of Children's Spirituality
`His method of describing family dynamics around suicidal behaviour is particularly illuminating. After a fascinating review of historical and cultural perspectives of suicide, Aldridge examines contemporary attitudes towards it.'--The Journal of the British Association for Counselling