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The Vocabulary of Loss:

A Glossary of Suicide-related Terminology

Copyright © 1998-2010
Tony Salvatore Springfield, PA, USA
Launched 03.28.98
Modified 8.14.09

This site offers brief definitions of selected terms. It is intended as aid to the bereaved, to nonprofessionals, and to students. Many of the terms included have more scholarly, technical or clinical meanings. Further reference is encouraged (see, for example, the definitions of suicide-related terms in "Definitions" in Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative). Also visit National Strategy for Suicide Prevention - Glossary and SAMHSA Mental Health Dictionary, and Stop-A-Suicide Today! Glossary of Terms. Terms in CAPS in definitions are included in glossary.


INDEX

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

Suicide Paradigm | Ethics Side of Suicide | Lamenting Sons: Fathers & Grief | Suicide Loss FAQs | About Elder Suicide | Memo to Suicidal Young People
The Suicide Paradigm Guide | Some Answers for Those New to Suicide Loss |

Definitions

[ A ]

ABNORMAL GRIEF - Prolonged, difficult, complicated response associated with TRAUMATIC LOSS. See UNRESOLVED GRIEF.
ABNORMAL GRIEF REACTION - Individual behavioral and/or emotional condition caused by a severe LOSS.
ABORTED SUICIDE ATTEMPT - A suicide attempt (intent to die) that is terminated by the individual before incurring physical harm.
"A.C.E." = Ask/Care/Escort (US Army Peer Suicide Intervention Program).
ACTIVE INTERVENTIONS - Preventative activities that require targeted individuals to make behavioral choices/changes. See PASSIVE INTERVENTIONS.
ACTIVE SUICIDAL IDEATION - State of acute thought of completing suicide associated with  imminent risk (Sivak et al.)
ACUTE MOURNING - Initial phase of disorientation, dulled senses, denial, yearning.
ACUTE SUICIDE THREAT - Individual has LETHAL MEANS and voices INTENT.
AFTERCARE - Post-LOSS support services to the BEREAVED or other traumatized individuals. See POSTVENTION.
AGE-CORRESPONDENCE REACTION - ACUTE grief triggered by age similarity to lost loved one.
AGENERATIVE SUICIDE - Caused by personal alienation (Shneidman).
ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY - Joint plan between CLINICIAN and CLIENT with shared goal to prevent suicide (Gutheil).
ALTRUISTIC SUICIDE - Suicide as self-sacrifice (Durkheim).
AMBIGUOUS GRIEF - Occurs when loss is psychologically felt but not physically confirmed (or when the individual is "there" but not there as with Alzheimer's Disease).
AMBIVALENCE - SUICIDAL individual's wish to both live and die.
AMBIVALENT ATTEMPT - ATTEMPTED SUICIDE involving NONLETHAL MEANS and felt to not be intended to result in death.
AMPUTATION METAPHOR - LOSS analogy commonly used by grieving parents (e.g., loss of child like loss of limb).
ANNIVERSARY REACTION - Worsening or return of grieving on dates related to the LOSS.
ANNIVERSARY TRIGGER - Idea that people tend to die near key dates in their lives.
ANOMIC SUICIDE - Type caused by a disrupted relationship (Durkheim).
ANXIOUS SUICIDALITY - Combined presence of SUICIDAL IDEATION and severe anxiety in children (ALLAN et al.).
ASSISTED SUICIDE - COMPLETION of suicide by a TERMINALLY ILL or SUFFERING individual with the aid of a physician or other CLINICIAN.
ATTEMPTED SUICIDE - Intentional potentially lethal effort to complete suicide.
AUTOCIDE - Use of a motor vehicle to complete suicide.
AVAILABILITY OF MEANS - ACCESSIBILITY to LETHAL MEANS by a SUICIDAL individual.
Index

[ B ]

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH - Overall term inclusive of mental health and drug/alcohol misuse services.
BIOCHEMICAL - Substance occurring naturally in the body; see NEUROCHEMICALS.
BIOLOGICAL RISK FACTORS - Physiological, NEUROCHEMICAL, and neurophysiological variables associated with SUICIDE RISK.
BIOLOGICAL THEORY - Physiological and NEUROCHEMICAL variables contribute to suicide RISK.
BIOMARKER - See MARKER.
BLOODLESS MEANS - Toxic substances, drowning, hanging, suffocation.
Index

[ C ]

CATASTROPHIZATION - Aggravating present pain by anticipating more severe future pain (Turk et al.).
CHRONIC GRIEF - Continuance of ACUTE grief reactions over time.
CHRONIC GRIEF SYNDROME - ABNORMAL GRIEF REACTION with loss of deeply dependent relationship.
CHRONIC SUICIDAL IDEATION - Ongoing, transient, intermittent SUICIDAL IDEATION (Sivak et al.)
CHRONIC SUICIDER - (1)Individual engaged in repeated acts of SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR leading to suicide (Berent); (2)Individual using suicidal behavior as coping mechanism to achieve control and relieve pain, hopelessness, and emptiness (Paris).
CHRONICALLY SUICIDAL - History of multiple episodes of SUICIDALITY or low lethality suicidal behavior.
CLUSTER SUICIDES - Chain of completed suicides by youths in contiguous geographic areas.
COMMUNICATION MODEL - View of suicide as an interpersonal problem resolution strategy.
COMPASSION FATIGUE - Vicarious trauma and emotional depletion incurred by caregivers with high involvement with suicidal individuals and other high risk persons.
COMPLETION - See SUICIDE COMPLETION.
COMPLETE SUICIDE - Succumb to the SUICIDE PROCESS by taking one's life; see PENACIDE.
COMPLETER - See SUICIDE COMPLETER.
COMPLICATED MOURNING - Difficult long-term state after TRAUMATIC LOSS.
CONFLICTED GRIEF - Occurs in losses involving ambivalent or troubled relationships.
CONSTRICTION - Narrowing of a SUICIDAL individual's outlook and options (Shneidman).
CONTAGION - Risk arising from exposure to SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR in family, peer group, or media.
CONTINGENT SUICIDE THREAT - Expression of intent related to a secondary demand by the individual (Lambert).
CONTRACTING FOR SAFETY - See NO SUICIDE CONTRACT (AKA No-Suicide Pact).
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS - Conditions or situations causing depression (e.g., marital or job problems).
COPICIDE - See SUICIDE-BY-COP (Volanti).
COPING STYLE - Individual's customary response or means of dealing with stress.
COPYCAT SUICIDE - See SUICIDE CONTAGION
CRISIS CARD - Wallet-sized card with steps to take in event of a menatl health emergency.
CRY FOR HELP - Expression of SUICIDAL INTENT in the hope of assistance or RESCUE.
CULT SUICIDE - Form of MASS SUICIDE completed by a sect as a group.
CUMULATIVE LOSS - Succession of deprivations/frustrations causing stress or pain.
CUMULATIVE RISKS - Sequence of progressive or additional levels of exposure to harm.
CUSTODIAL SUICIDE - Suicides occurring among adult/juvenile inmates/residents of correctional and detention facilities. See JAIL SUICIDE.
Index

[ D ]

DANGER SIGNS - Indicators of pending or mounting suicide risk that indicate the need for intervention by a medical/mental health provider (AAS). See WARNING SIGN.
DECATASTROPHIZE - Remove the anticipation or assumption of future grief or pain.
DELAYED GRIEF - BEREAVEMENT occurring years or decades after the LOSS.
DICHOTOMOUS THINKING - Increasingly rigid thought processes and loss of ability to see options to death by a SUICIDAL individual.
DIRECT DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR - SUICIDAL IDEATION, attempts, and completions.
DISCOUNTED GRIEF - Lack of nominal or negligible social validation of a LOSS by others. AKA MARGINALIZED GRIEF.
DISENFRANCHISED GRIEF - Grief that is denied or restricted by social pressure or other interference. 
DISORDER-BASED SUICIDALITY - Vulnerability due to a psychiatric disorder's effect on personal control; related to Axis I disorder (e.g., depression) (Jacobs et al.).
DISPLACEMENT HYPOTHESIS - Proposition that MEANS RESTRICTION is ineffective because suicidal individuals will resort to MEANS SUBSTITUTION.
DISTAL RISK FACTORS - Secondary, nonprecipitating elements related to SUICIDE.
DOUBLE SUICIDE - COMPLETION by spouses, other couple or by two friends. See SUICIDE PACT.
DUAL DIAGNOSIS - Occurence of two behavioral health disorders (e.g., depression and drug abuse)(AKA "DOUBLE TROUBLE").
DUTIFUL SUICIDE - Suicide as culturally defined obligation (Fairbairn).
DUTY TO WARN - Ethical obligation to disclose the risk of SUICIDE or other harm to a third party.
DYADIC SUICIDE - COMPLETION caused by an interpersonal problem (Shneidman).
DYNAMIC RISK FACTOR - Risk factor of suicide that can be reduced/modified (e.g., gun ownership, social support). See FIXED RISK FACTOR.
Index

[ E ]

EGOISTIC SUICIDE - Type caused by lack of social ties (Durkheim).
EGOTIC SUICIDE - Caused by an intrapersonal problem (Shneidman).
ENSHRINEMENT - Idealization of a deceased child by the parent(s).
EQUIVOCAL DEATH - Indeterminate cause (suicide vs. other).
EXISTENTIAL SUICIDE - Completing suicide because "life isn't worth it."
EXPERIMENTAL ACTION - Gradual progression to a lethal act by an ambivalent SUICIDAL individual (Clark). See SUICIDE REHEARSAL.
Index

[ F ]

FACILITATED SUICIDE - COMPLETION occurs because of CLINICIAN indifference.
FACILITATING SUICIDE - Legal term for helping in a suicide COMPLETION.
FALSE NEGATIVE - Identifying a SUICIDAL person as non-suicidal.
FALSE POSITIVE - Identifying a NON-SUICIDAL person as SUICIDAL.
FAMILICIDE-SUICIDE - Homicide of one or more family members by SUICIDE COMPLETER.
FAMILY HISTORY - Occurence of suicide attempt, COMPLETION, or other serious suicidal behavior in parents, siblings, spouse, grandparents, etc.
FAMILY STUDIES - Research focusing on INCIDENCE of suicidal behavior within families.
FANTASY RATIONALE - Suicide felt to be caused by wish for rebirth, revenge, etc.
FATALISTIC SUICIDE - Associated with "passions violently checked by aggressive discipline" (Durkheim).
FILICIDE-SUICIDE - Parental murder of child followed by the parent's SUICIDE>
FIREARMS SUICIDE - Use of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, etc., as the LETHAL MEANS.
FIRST-DEGREE RELATIVE - Parent , sibling, child, or spouse (see FAMILY FISTORY).
FIXED RISK FACTOR - Risk factor for suicide that are static and cannot be reduced/modified (e.g., gender, race, suicide attempt, family history of suicide). AKA PRIMARY RISK FACTOR. See DYNAMIC RISK FACTOR.
FOCAL SUICIDES - SELF-MUTILATION and deliberate accidents (Menninger).
FORCED SUICIDE - Mode of execution offering COMPLETION as an alternative to torture, harm to family, or other unacceptable options.
FROZEN GRIEF - Stalling of grieving process because of AMBIGUOUS LOSS (Boss).
Index

[ G ]

GATEKEEPER PROGRAM - Use of school/community contact people to identify at-risk youth, elders.
GENDER DIFFERENCES - In grieving or SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR, dissimilar behavior by men and women.
GENERATIVITY - Sense of connection between generations; lost or weakened by the death of a child.
GENETIC MODEL- View of suicide as influenced by heredity or genetic transmission of risk.
GENUINE SUICIDE - COMPLETION resulting from VICTIM'S intention to end one's life (Shneidman).
GESTURER - Individual associated with one or more SUICIDE GESTURE.
GRIEF INTEGRATION - Incorporating grief as an ongoing part of the BEREAVED'S life.
GRIEF PROCESS - Individual course of grief following loss of a loved one.
GRIEF REACTION - Feelings/emotions accompanying grief (e.g., guilt, anger).
GRIEF WORK - BEREAVED individual's efforts to accept reality of LOSS.
Index

[ H ]

HESITATION WOUNDS - Shallow cuts or other minor injuries incuured by an individual considering or rehearsing a suicide attempt.
HIDDEN GRIEF - Solitary mourning; grieving pattern common to men.
HIDDEN SUICIDE - Indirect self-harming behavior (Meerlo).
HIGH RISK FACTOR - Social variable associated with high INCIDENCE of suicide or harm.
Index

[ I ]

IDEATOR - Individual experiencing SUICIDAL IDEATION.
IF ONLYS - Griever obsession with contingencies that might have averted LOSS.
INCIDENCE - Number of suicides in a given population in a given time span.
INDEX SUICIDE - Initial COMPLETION precipitating a SUICIDE CLUSTER or SUICIDE CONTAGION episode; see STIMULUS EVENT.
INDICATED INTERVENTION - Preventative measures directed at individuals showing RISK FACTORS(Gordon). 
INDIRECT SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR - (Farberow) see SILENT SUICIDE.
INDIRECT SUICIDE - Death as unintended result of high RISK behavior.
INJURIOUS SUICIDE ATTEMPT - An attempt involving an injury or other need for medical treatment.
INTENT, FIRST DEGREE - COMPLETION was planned by the VICTIM.
INTENT, SECOND DEGREE - COMPLETION was impulsive and unplanned on part of  the VICTIM.
INTENT, THIRD DEGREE - Voluntary self-injury with low COMPLETION intention on the part of the ATTEMPTER.
INTERNET SUICIDE - Use of the Internet to facilitate or promote suicidal behavior.
INTERPERSONAL SUICIDE - COMPLETION associated with the loss of an interpersonal relationship.
INTERPERSONAL THEORY OF SUICIDE - Suicide is the outcome of the convergence of an intense desire to die brought on by a sense of not belonging and being a burden to others and the capability for lethal self-injury (Joiner).
INTERVENTION - Interceding to prevent harm or reduce RISK.
INSTRUMENTAL SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR - Communicative act involving potentially self-harming behavior without intent to die.
Index

[ J ]

JAIL SUICIDE - Occurrence of suicide in local holding/detention facilities; leading cause of death in such sites.

[ K ]

KINDLING - Increasing susceptibility to suicide with recurrent stress.
Index

[ L ]

LEARNED HOPELESSNESS - Adoption of passive attitude as a consequence of intense, unabated stress.
LEGACY OF SUICIDE - Ongoing emotional burden borne by SUICIDE GRIEVERS.
LETHAL MEANS - Implements, substances, weapons, or actions capable of causing death.
LETHALITY - Indicates the potential of MEANS of suicide to cause death.
LIFE STRESSOR - Severely stressful life event (e.g., interpersonal or economic loss) (Moscicki).
LOSS HISTORY - Losses incurred by an individual during her/his life.
LOW BASE-RATE - Statistically infrequent rate of occurence.
Index

[ M ]

MAKING FINAL PLANS - Overt actions indicating imminent jeopardy.
MANIPULATED SUICIDE - COMPLETION induced by persuasion (Battin).
MANIPULATIVE SUICIDE - Attempt with no intent to end life (Schneidman).
MARGINALIZED GRIEF - See DISCOUNTED GRIEF.
MARKER - Physiological indicator or predictor of SUICIDE RISK.
MASCULINE GRIEF - Cognitive style of grieving common among men and some women.
MASS SUICIDE - COMPLETION of suicide by an organized or related group.
MEANS - Firearms, rope, poison, etc., used to complete suicide; see LETHAL MEANS.
MEANS RESTRICTION - Preventing access to weapons, drugs, etc.; detoxifying auto exhaust or cooking gas (CDC).
MEANS SUBSTITUTION - Proposition that suicidal individuals will turn to other MEANS when confronted by MEANS RESTRICTION.
MEDIA CONTAGION - Suicides felt caused by press/TV/radio coverage of a death.
MEDICAL MODEL - View of SUICIDE as a DISEASE or caused by a disease.
MENTAL PRACTICE - Mentally carrying out SUICIDE COMPLETION (Joiner). See SUICIDE REHEARSAL.
MISA - Acronym for Mental Illness Substance Abuse. See DUAL DIAGNOSIS.
MODELING - SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR in imitation of a celebrity death or other prior SUICIDE.
MOURNING - Outward individual demonstration of being BEREAVED.
MOURNING RITUAL - Formalized expression of BEREAVEMENT.
MURDERCIDE - The killing of a human or humans with malice aforethought by means of self-murder as by a "suicide bomber" (Shermer). 
MYTHS OF SUICIDE - Popular misconceptions of the nature, causes, and incidence of suicide. 
Index

[ N ]

NEUROCHEMICALS - Substances conveying messages in the brain.
NEUROTRANSMITTER - NEUROCHEMICAL that attaches to a RECEPTOR in the brain.
NEW NORMAL - The "new" sense of self achieved after a TRAUMATIC LOSS (Wrobleski).
NON-CONTINGENT SUICIDE THREAT - Expression of intent related to pain, depression, or hopelessness with no contingent demand (Lambert).
NONLETHAL METHOD - MEANS that may not be immediately fatal.
NONVIOLENT MEANS - See BLOODLESS MEANS.
NORADRENERGIC FUNCTION - Brain system associated with SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR when altered.
NORMAL GRIEF - Lasts less than 6 months; resolves without treatment.
NO SUICIDE CONTRACT - Non-legal CLIENT agreement with a PROVIDER to not complete SUICIDE.
Index

[ O ]

OBLIGATORY SUICIDE - Ethical concept of suicide as a personal duty (Cosculluela).
ONE-TO-ONE - Close direct staff observation of an at-risk individual to deter suicidal behavior. See PRECAUTIONS and SUICIDE WATCH.
OPEN-ENDED GROUP - Ongoing SUPPORT GROUP that can be entered at anytime.
ORGANIC SUICIDE - COMPLETION in response to serious physical illness and/or PAIN (Menninger).
OTHER-DRIVEN SUICIDE - COMPLETION impelled by other person(s) wishes or actions(Fairbairn).
OTHER-REGARDING SUICIDE - See OBLIGATORY SUICIDE.
Index

[ P ]

PARASUICIDE - Non-fatal act of self-harm; a SUICIDE GESTURE.
PARTIAL SUICIDE - Non-fatal self-destructive act, e.g., SELF-MUTILATION.
PASSIVE SUICIDAL IDEATION - SUICIDAL IDEATION not involving a specific SUICIDE PLAN (Sivak et al.)
PASSIVE SUICIDE ATTEMPT - Allowing oneself to be in a potentially fatal situation and not caring if death occurs.
PASSIVE INTERVENTIONS - Preventative activities that do not require targeted individuals to make behavioral choices/changes. See ACTIVE INTERVENTIONS.
PATHOLOGICAL BEREAVEMENT - CHRONIC, debilitating grief process.
PENACIDE - Killing of PAIN; COMPLETION of SUICIDE to end intense PAIN.
PERMISSION TO GRIEVE - Seeking of recognition of LOSS by others by BEREAVED.
PERSONALITY-BASED SUICIDALITY - Vulnerability related to individual's personality and outlook on life.
PERTURBATION - Increased emotional disturbance in a SUICIDAL individual (Shneidman).
PLAN SPECIFICITY - Identification of variables such as date, time, place, and means in a suicide plan; indicates high RISK.
POPULATION ATTRIBUTABLE RISK - The share of suicides in a population that can be attributed to a specific risk factor.
POPULATION-BASED INTERVENTION - Preventative measures directed at targeted at-risk groups (e.g., white adult males).
POSTVENTION - INTERVENTION after a SUICIDE to aid the BEREAVED.
POTENTIATING RISK FACTOR - Availability of LETHAL MEANS, family history, stress, illness, etc.
POTENTIATOR - Factor that amplifies another factor and combined effect is greater than each alone.
PRECAUTIONS - Measures taken in hospital or similar setting to deter suicidal behavior by a specific at-risk individual. See ONE-TO-ONE and SUICIDE WATCH.
PREDISPOSING RISK FACTOR - Condition when coupled with other RISK may lead to suicide.
PRE-INTERVENTION - See PRIMARY PREVENTION.
PREVENTABILITY - Griever's perception of the avoidability of their LOSS.
PRIMARY LOSS - The loss of a loved one to death by any cause.
PRIMARY PREVENTION - Attempt to reduce occurrence of a problem in a population.
PRIMARY RISK FACTOR - See FIXED RISK FACTOR.
PRODROMAL CLUES - Individual behavioral signs of SUICIDALITY.
PROTECTIVE FACTORS - Variables that may tend to keep an individual from completing SUICIDE (e.g., religion or spirituality).
PROVIDER - Organization or individual clinician that offers BEHAVIORAL HEALTH services.
PROXIMAL RISK FACTOR - Risk factors for suicide that are near-term and associated with imminent risk. See POTENTIATING RISK FACTOR.
PSYCHACHE - Severe PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN(Shneidman).
PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY - See PSYCHOLOGICAL EMERGENCY.
PSYCHIATRIC SUICIDE - Concept of SUICIDE as always involving hate, depression, and guilt on part of VICTIM.
PSYCHIC BLOW - Event threatening acceptable life circumstances that may lead to SUICIDE (Farber).
PSYCHIC HOMICIDE - Suicide by children of abusive or hostile parents.
PSYCHIC NUMBING - Shut-down emotionally; TRAUMATIC GRIEF REACTION (Raphael).
PSYCHIC SUICIDE - Willing oneself to die without any external physical action.
PSYCHOBIOLOGICAL MODEL - Suicide caused by neural dysfunction and poor impulse control.
PSYCHODYNAMIC MODEL - Suicide caused by lack of self-control due to personality pathology.
PSYCHOLOGICAL ABANDONMENT - CLINICIAN'S reluctance to deal with the family of a PATIENT who died by SUICIDE (Gutheil).
PSYCHOLOGICAL AUTOPSY - Methodically-structured post-death search for cause of SUICIDE.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DEATH - Individual's definition of self as dead (Kalish).
PSYCHOLOGICAL EMERGENCY - Imminent RISK of SELF-HARM or danger to others without INTERVENTION.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN - Pain caused by LOSS, DEPRESSION, and other emotional trauma.
PSYCHOLOGICAL POST-MORTEM - Post-death search for CLINICIAN treatment errors.
PSYCHOMOTOR AGITATION - Restlessness, pacing, rocking, fidgeting, etc., on the part of a distressed individual.
Index

[ Q ]

QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL - Research designs using available groups of subjects rather than subjects assigned/selected randomly.
QPR - "Question, Persuade, and Refer"; suicide prevention program (QPR Institute). 
Index

[ R ]

RATIONAL SUICIDE - Presumption of reasonable choice by the TERMINALLY ILL.
REASONS FOR DYING - Set of faulty, self-biased beliefs that may be voiced by a SUICIDAL individual.
REBIRTH SUICIDE - COMPLETION as strategy to "start over" or become something else.
RECONSTRUCTION - BEREAVED'S recasting of past events or relationships linked to lost loved one.
RECOVERY GUILT - Discomfort with feelings of happiness or peace of mind after loss.
RELATIVE RISK - Ratio of AT-RISK to non-risk individuals in a group.
REPEATER - Individual with HISTORY of SUICIDE ATTEMPTS.
RESPITE SUICIDE - COMPLETION to escape disappointment or to relieve PAIN or STRESS (Tanney).
RESPONDENT SUICIDE - SUICIDE SURVIVOR suicide attributed to "joining" the initial VICTIM.
RESCUE - Successful intervention in a SUICIDE ATTEMPT.
RESCUE FANTASY - Belief that some SUICIDAL INDIVIDUALS expect to be saved.
REVENGE SUICIDE - See MESSAGE OF ANGER.
REUNION SUICIDE - COMPLETION related to death of a loved one or wish to join her/him (Wohl).
RISK ACCUMULATION - Accretion of multiple suicide risk factors by an individual (e.g., race/age/gender + alcohol misuse + divorce + gun ownership).
RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOR - Activity involving immediate or subsequent possibility of self-harm.
RISK FACTOR - Attribute determined by reserach to be associated with the likelihood of suicide.
RITUALISTIC SUICIDE - See OBLIGATORY SUICIDE.
Index

[ S ]

SAFETY PLAN - A written list of warning signs, coping responses, and support sources that an individual may use to avert or manage a suicide crisis.
SEASONALITY - Refers to seasonal variations in SUICIDE RATES.
SECONDARY LOSS - Consequence of loss of loved one, e.g., a friendship.
SECONDARY PREVENTION - Attempt to lessen the severity of a problem.
SECONDARY VICTIMIZATION - Negative experience of BEREAVED with relatives, media, police, etc.
SECRET GRIEF - See HIDDEN GRIEF.
SELECTIVE INTERVENTION - Preventative measures directed at sub-group showing risk factors. AKA SELECTIVE PREVENTION.
SELF-DELIVERANCE - "Rational" suicide for a "good" reason.
SELF-HARM - Deliberate self-injurious acts without intent to die (e.g., cutting).
SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR (SIB) - Causing obvious tissue damage without LETHAL intent.
SELF-MUTILATION - Slashing, stabbing, cutting, burning, etc. on the body by an individual.
SEROTONIN - NEUROTRANSMITTER that inhibits SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR.
SILENT SUICIDE - Self-starvation and medical NONCOMPLIANCE by the aged.
SITUATIONAL CLUES - Loss, other major life event linked with suicide RISK.
SITUATIONAL RISK FACTOR - FIXED and DYNAMIC RISK FACTORS of an individual and her/his social environment (e.g., family and social relationships) (Stoelb & Chirboga).
SLOW SUICIDE - Prolonged pattern of self-abusive, harmful behavior.
SPIRITUAL ABUSE - Allegation by a clergyperson that suicide VICTIM is damned.
STIMULUS EVENT - In a SUICIDE CLUSTER the act or event felt to have motivated the subsequent deaths.
SUBINTENTIONAL - Individual indirectly/unconsciously causes her/his own death.
SUICIDAL - In ACUTE crisis with ideation, a plan, definite tendencies, or an attempt.
SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR - SUICIDE GESTURES, attempts, and COMPLETIONS.
SUICIDAL COMMUNICATION - Individual's expression of suicidal ideation, intent, or behavior.
SUICIDAL DESIRE - State characterized by no reason for living, a wish to die, not wanting to go on, and a PASSIVE SUICIDE ATTEMPT (Beck).
SUICIDAL EQUIVALENT - Dangerous, risk-taking behavior that may be life-threatening (Ayd).
SUICIDAL FANTASY - Recurring SUICIDAL IDEATION involving the same or similar situation.
SUICIDE GAMBLE - Intentional, potentially fatal behavior engaged in because of chance of rescue (Soreff).
SUICIDAL IDEATION - Thoughts about completing suicide.
SUICIDAL INDIVIDUAL - One manifesting SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR or SUICIDAL INTENT.
SUICIDAL INTENT - Level of individual degree of RISK of acting at a particular time.
SUICIDAL MIGRATIONS - Relocation of AT-RISK individuals seeking gratification (Farber).
SUICIDAL POTENTIAL - Recurrent SUICIDAL IDEATION without a specific plan (Ayd).
SUICIDE ACT - Any fatal/non-fatal intentional self-inflicted injury (O'Carroll et al.).
SUICIDAL THREAT - Verbal statement(s) indicating that suicide is being considered.
SUICIDALITY - Individualís level of danger to her/himself (Shneidman).
SUICIDE -  Verb: to   complete suicide (e.g., "My son suicided").
SUICIDE ADDICTION - Increasing dependence on suicidal thoughts and acts as response to stress (Tullis/Taylor).
"SUICIDE ANONYMOUS" - Mutual self-help (12-Step) group for individuals troubled by chronic suicidality (Tullis/Taylor).
SUICIDE ASSESSMENT - Clinical evaluation of the level of suicide risk in an individual.
SUICIDE ATTEMPT SURVIVOR - Individual who acted with intent to die and lethal means to complete suicide but survived (AKA SUICIDE SURVIVOR).
SUICIDE-BY-COP - Provoking a police officer to shoot in self-defense.
SUICIDE CAREER - Individual pattern of multiple suicide attempts.
SUICIDE CLUSTER - See SUICIDE CONTAGION.
SUICIDE COMPETENCE - Indicative of high suicide risk because of strong desire to die and capability for lethal self-harm (Joiner).
SUICIDE COMPLETION - Individual death as outcome of the SUICIDE PROCESS.
SUICIDE CONTAGION - Series of consecutive suicides in the same geographic area.
SUICIDE GESTURE - An action of self-harm indicating SUICIDAL INTENT.
SUICIDE GRIEVER - Individual experiencing traumatic effects of SUICIDE LOSS.
SUICIDE INCIDENCE- Number of cases in a given time in a given area.
SUICIDE INTERVENTION - Prevention of an imminent attempt or an in process attempt.
SUICIDE LANDMARKS - Sites (e.g., bridges) that have become historically associated with SUICIDE COMPLETION.
SUICIDE PACT - Agreement to complete suicide by two or more individuals.
SUICIDE PLAN - Individual strategy inclusive of time frame and MEANS to complete suicide.
SUICIDE PREVALENCE - Cases at a given time relative to population size.
SUICIDE PREVENTION - Structured effort to reduce SUICIDE RISK FACTORS and promote PROTECTIVE FACTORS at the individual, community, or population-wide levels.
SUICIDE RATE - Occurrence of suicide in a given population or community; usually expressed in deaths/100,000 population.
SUICIDE REHEARSAL - Try out of plan without intent to die (e.g., driving by a bridge).
SUICIDE SCREENING - Identification of presence suicide risk factors in an individual.
SUICIDE SURVIVOR - See SUICIDE GRIEVER; see also SUICIDE ATTEMPT SURVIVOR.
SUICIDE SYNDROME - Long-term self-destructive life process (Gernsbacher).
SUICIDE TALK - Verbal references to SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR by an AT-RISK individual.
SUICIDE TOURIST/TOURISM - VICTIMS who travel to an area (e.g., NYC) to COMPLETE SUICIDE at a local SUICIDE LANDMARK or other site.
SUICIDE WATCH - Encompasses various levels of staff observation of an At-RISK individal to deter suicidal behavior. See PRECAUTIONS and ONE-TO-ONE.
SUICIDE ZONE - Transient individual period of RISK (Litman).
SUICIDOGENIC - Causing, giving rise to suicide or SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR.
SUICIDOLOGY - The formal scientific study of suicide; multidisciplinary.
SUIDECIDE - (sui-decide)RATIONAL SUICIDE by a TERMINALLY ILL individual (Schmerl).
SUISAD - (sui-sad) "Killing the sadness"; replacement for term suicide (Cantor).
SUPPORT GROUP - Peer resource for dealing with illness or trauma.
SURCEASE SUICIDE - Completion to end or avoid a severe STRESSOR (Prado).
SURVIVING - Living beyond the experience of a suicide or TRAUMATIC LOSS.
SURVIVOR GUILT - Self-blame for enduring after LOSS of loved one.
SYMBOLIC LOSS - Loss of something intangible (e.g., relationship).
SYNDROMATIC CLUES- Behavioral, verbal, situational indicators of suicide RISK.
Index

[ T ]

TERTIARY PREVENTION - Attempt to lessen long-term effects of a problem.
THANATOLOGY - Study of death, dying, BEREAVEMENT, and grief.
THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE - Collaborative relationship with client established by therapist (Simon).
TRAUMA - A psychological reaction to a stressful, harmful, or life-threatening occurrence that is outside the range of normal experience and beyond control.  
TRAUMATIC LOSS - Death that is sudden, unexpected, preventable and/or of a child.
TRIGGER - Factor (e.g., event, memory, date, place, sound, or object) which initiates and aggravates behavior or other response (e.g. trauma).
TUNNEL VISION - View that life=pain vs. death=no pain; see CONSTRICTION.
Index

[ U ]

UNDER-REPORTING - INCIDENCE of suicides not officially recorded as such.
UNDETERMINED INTENT - Classification of a death or an injury where VICTIM'S intentions are unclear.
UNEXPECTED LOSS SYNDROME - ABNORMAL GRIEF REACTION associated with unexpected loss.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - Personal concerns or obligations to be resolved before death.
UNIFIED INTERVENTIONS - Prevention strategies involving combinations of UNIVERSAL, SELECTED, and INDICATED PREVENTION measures (Brown).
UNIVERSAL INTERVENTION - Preventative measures directed at an entire population (e.g., promoting restricted access to firearms).
UNRESOLVED GRIEF - Disrupted grieving process (e.g., DELAYED GRIEF).
Index

[ V ]

VALIDATION - Learning from experience of other SUICIDE GRIEVERS that "I'm not crazy."
VEHICULAR SUICIDE - COMPLETION by stepping into path of a vehicle or using a vehicle as MEANS.
VENTURED SUICIDE - High RISK behavior without SUICIDAL INTENT (Baechler).
VERBAL CLUES - Spoken references to SUICIDAL INTENT.
VICTIM-PRECIPITATED HOMICIDE - See SUICIDE-BY-COP (Parent).
VIOLENT MEANS - Suicide by firearms, hanging, slashing, falls.
VULNERABILITY FACTOR - Condition predisposing an individual to greater than normal risk (Ayd).
Index

[ W ]

WARM LINE - Non-crisis telephone support program for at-risk individuals often staffed by peer volunteers.
WARNING SIGN - Overt indicator of high suicidal RISK of an individual that indicates the need for immediate emergency intervention.
"WEATHER FORECAST" - Metaphor characterizing the fluctuating level of risk in a SUICIDAL INDIVIDUAL (Simon).
WERTHER EFFECT - Concept of COMPLETION or SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR as a consequence of mass media accounts of SUICIDE (Phillips).
WHAT-IFFING GUILT - SUICIDE GRIEVER obsession with "What if...?" (they did or did not do something)(Wrobleski).
WITHDRAWN BEHAVIOR - Apathetic and unresponsive emotional state.
WORKING THROUGH GRIEF - Purposeful individual effort to resolve personal grief.

[ Y ]

YEARS OF POTENTIAL LIFE LOST - Period from VICTIM'S age at death to age 65.
Index

Paul 1968-96

Copyright © 1998-2009
Tony Salvatore
Springfield, PA

Medical Dictionary           


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