Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide Behavior

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We born, we live, and we died. Death is the final part of life, we have no power over death. Nevertheless, some death can be avoided; death we deem preventable through various intervention like suicide. According to the CDC, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among Americans, with a fatality of 45,000, double the rate of homicide in the United States and an estimate of 1.3 million attempts in 2016.

According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24 and results in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. Suicide is prevalent amount male than women, 81 percent of suicide that leads to death were male and 19 percent female. It also states that suicide is predominant amount Native American and Hispanic youth.

Suicide affects people of all economics status race and ethnics group. Nonetheless, studies have shown that suicide is more prevalent amount those with low social economic status than those with a high social economic status. Suicide does not always happen on impulse there are sign a social factor that contributes to suicide. The factors that might contributed to suicide include Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder, certain medical conditions, chronic pain, A prior suicide attempt, Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse, Family history of suicide, Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse, Having guns or other firearms in the home, Having recently been released from prison or jail, Being exposed to others' suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities.

Losing a loved one can be very a very traumatic experience for both the family and the community. The loss of a loved one leaves an emptiness that no one can fill. Losing them through suicide can be even more devastating, not only does it leave a hole, it leaves family, friends, and the community with more questions then answers. In the quest for answers, we come up with various theory to explain the reason behind suicide; the economic theory of suicide, the interpersonal theory of suicide, and the Psychological Theory of Suicide.

The Economic Theory of Suicide and strong economic supports intervention

Each theory partially answers questions about the possible reason someone might decide to end their own life. The Economic Theory of suicide focuses on the alleged economic factors might impact a person to commit suicide; unemployment, high amount of debt, a change in economic status. We are living in a materialistic society where success can be measured by material position, it is no wonder that financial strain can be very stressful on individuals and family. Studies have shown suicide rate tends to increase for an older adult during a long period of unemployment, economic recession, and financial hardship. The suicide behavior of older people is significantly more sensitive to variation in unemployment the younger people, (Rose, you have used a direct quote from the article without attributing it to the authors. You should have used quotation marks and the page number.) Hamermesh & Soss,2001. The article was written in 1974 but copyrighted in 2001.

Several programs have been put to place to answer to economics’ hardship through the strengthening economic supports intervention. The strengthen economic supports intervention approach intel program like TANF, (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families,) Medicare and Medicaid, Affordable housing, Rent stabilization, and other. These interventions have shown to be helpful in preventing and reducing suicide. These programs improve individuals and their family’s quality of life by providing financial relief, medical coverage, and housing stabilization and by reducing stress due to financial hardship.

The interpersonal theory of suicide and Community-based intervention.

The interpersonal theory of suicide gave some explanation about suicide force factor that could push someone to commit suicide. It highlights having the capability to engage in suicidal behavior is separate from having the desire to engage in suicidal behavior, The theory state the most dangerous form of suicidal desire is caused by the coexisting presence of two societal concepts, thwarted belongingness, a psychologically-painful mental state that results when the fundamental need for connectedness is unmet and perceived burdensomeness, mental state characterized by apperceptions that others would “be better off if I were gone,” which manifests when the need for social competence is unmet.

Unlike the economic theory of suicide, which only focuses on economic factors, the Interpersonal theory analyzes several social and psychological forces that might boost someone desire to commit suicide; Mental disorders, Previous suicide attempts, Social isolation, physical illness, unemployment, family conflict, childhood abuse, homelessness, and incarceration. The theory test four hypothesis and came up with the conclusion prevention efforts targeting thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness may be effective in reducing suicide.

  1.  Thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness are proximal and sufficient causes of passive suicidal ideation.
  2.  The simultaneous presence of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, when perceived as stable and unchanging (i.e., hopelessness regarding these states), is a proximal and sufficient cause of active suicidal desire.
  3.  The simultaneous presence of suicidal desire and lowered fear of death serves as the condition under which suicidal desire will transform into suicidal intent. 4
  4.  The outcome of serious suicidal behavior (i.e., lethal or near-lethal suicide attempts) is most likely to occur in the context of thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness (and hopelessness regarding both), reduced fear of suicide, and elevated physical pain tolerance.

Taking the Interpersonal theory into consideration community-based intervention to suicide that focuses on strengthening economic supports, strengthen access and delivery of suicide care, create the protective environment, promote connectedness, teach coping and problem-solving skills, Identify and support people at risk, and, lessen harms and prevent future risk. An intervention that would help promote individual, family, and community care by empowering them through various program.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is an example of programs put in place to promote access to mental health services in the underserved community. The NHSC provides financial incentives to attract mental/behavioral health clinicians to open a mental health clinic in underserved areas. Making mental health treatment more accessible in low-income community. Under the new health care law, mental health treatment is covered under all insurance provider.

Telemental Health provides mental health remotely with technology, it helps individuals to have access to a range of mental health conditions without the inconvenience of traveling. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free telemental health service that personal provides emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress at all time across the United States. They have a network of over 150 local crisis centers with custom local care and resources. (Source?)

Community engagement activities such as religious activities, community clean-up, and greening activities, and peer mentoring can reduce the risk of suicide. Having individuals involved in the community will reduce isolation, promote relationship amount neighbor, and programs like peer mentoring have proven effective in promoting self-worth, enhancing self-esteems amount to the youth population and reduce suicide. (Source?)

Recognizing the sign that someone might be considering suicide can be a major factor in preventing suicide and getting them the help, they need. The gateway program might be handy for a community with a high suicide rate. The gateway program is suicide prevention program that trains teachers and other school official, emergency responders, primary and urgent care providers, and others in the community to identify people who may be at risk of suicide and recognizing the sign of suicidal behavior and connect individuals to available resources. (Source?)

Psychological Theory of Suicide and involuntary commitment

Psychological Theory of Suicide suggests that suicide can be understood in the context of three dimensions: (1) thwarted belongingness, (2) perceived ineffectiveness and resultant burdensomeness on others, and (3) an acquired capability for suicide (Smith, 2010.) (This is an exact quote from an article. You need to put it in quotation marks and write the author and page number. Additionally, this article is not listed in your reference section.) This theory adds acquired capability for suicide to the interpersonal theory on suicide. Acquired capability for suicide is when individuals no longer fear death, individuals no longer react to life-threatening or painful situations with a substantial self-preservation. This condition can when individuals are constantly exposed to painful and challenging life events.

Those with previous attempts and individuals going through chronic illness, mental or physical illness, are at greater risk of becoming desensitized with the idea of committing suicide. At this stage, an involuntary commitment might be the ideal approach to prevents suicide. This option takes away an individual’s right to refuse mental treatment. All states have laws and procedures for ensuring that patients with psychiatric illness can be involuntarily evaluated or committed to a psychiatric facility. In all cases, the individual’s right is revoked, for they are considered a risk for themselves or other.

Suicide is a major health concern, people commit suicide for various reasons, to each their own. Some reasons might be deemed unreasonable, for they can be resolved through various interventions. The stressor can be diminishing diminished or reduced, and quality of life can be restored. Nevertheless, for those living with certain chronic illness (incomplete sentence). Those that are it constrain who are constrained by excruciating pain, those treatments can no longer improving quality of life. As a society should we still be duty bound to prevent those individuals from ending their suffering?

Everyone deserves the right to died with dignity. Not all suicide is unreasonable, someone living with constant pain and have no hope for improvement should be allowed to considered suicide as a treatment option. It should be part of palliative care, focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. When someone with serious illness and that is experiencing constant pain want to end their life instead of involuntary committing them as a society, we should respect their decision. Not to be misunderstood, we should not provide them with the tools to end their life.

We have the right to die for our country, too die to protect someone else life. Why can we have the right to die for our own self-preservation? The responsible way to explore the ideology of individuals with chronic illnesses to take their own life is to make it part of their care. Under the extreme condition of chronic illness, patients who decide to commit suicide should be provided with a team of experts to ensure of their physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural needs are meet and helps the patient’s family and caregiver to come to term with the patient’s decision.

Patient should be first provided with psychosocial therapy and family. If a patient still wants to commit suicide, a team of experts should explore the safe suicidal option. To Through various teaching and therapy, patients should get a better understanding of their decision’s impact on their family, friends, and caregiver. A team of experts should help the patient developing a plan of action. Nevertheless, I do not believe in assisted suicide, a patient who wants to commit suicide should do it on their own, should secure their own diminishing  tools.

Making suicide as part of the care option for people with severe chronic illness would allow the patient and the family time to grieved together. It would answer questions that only the patient can. It would allow patients, family, and friends the opportunity to say goodbye to each other. It would reduce the survivor guilt associated with the sudden suicide attempt, it would help the family to work together to the layer of the psychological and emotional issue with their loved one prior of to ending their life.

Losing a loved one through suicide can be emotionally devasting for both family and friend. It Can bring forth feelings of shock, anger, guilt, despair, confusion and feeling of rejection. Nevertheless, suicide in most cases can be avoided by knowing the signs of suicide. Various interventions has have proven very effective in reducing suicide and promote promoting quality of life. For those suffering from severe chronic pain, government officials along with a healthcare provider should consider designing a guideline for suicide as a care option. 

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Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide Behavior. (2022, Feb 07). Retrieved November 30, 2023 , from

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