Suicidal thoughts are a function of feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (Shneidman, 1978). Underlying these thoughts are a host of fears, often related to issues of loss. The patient may fear the possibility of loss of function or sight, or even life itself. There is the fear of losing love and affection, or one’s attractiveness, as a result of an illness. And there is the fear of having contracted a disease, such as AIDS, with the possibility of pain and suffering or social disgrace. Suicide can also be triggered by an underlying emotional disturbance, such as a clinical depression or a personality disorder. Or it may be related to a central nervous system disorder, stemming from the physical effects of the disease itself, or the treatment.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Peritoneal Dialysis Suicidal Ideation Suicide Attempt Personality Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. Backman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Office of Health ServicesBarnard College, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations