Hopelessness and emotional pain are the two main reasons why people attempt suicide, the research finds.
Common beliefs about suicide were not strongly supported by the study.
People were less likely to mention the following reasons:
- Financial problems,
- as a cry for help,
- or to solve some kind of practical problem.
Instead, it was more because the emotional pain they were experiencing was unbearable and they felt that the pain would never go away.
“It may be surprising to some, but focusing on motivations is a new approach in the field of suicide research – and urgently needed. So far, the focus has been largely on the types of people who attempt suicide – their demographics, their genetics – without really exploring the motivations. Ours is the first job to do this in a comprehensive and systematic way “.
The findings come from a survey of 120 people who attempted suicide in the previous three years. Hopelessness and emotional pain emerged as the main reasons . However, there was a wide range of motivation for suicide attempts.
After the two main ones, which were mentioned by 2/3 of the interviewees, trying to escape and avoid overloading others, were also frequently mentioned reasons. Feeling a low sense of belonging and feeling fearless were also mentioned by some participants.
The researchers used the research to develop a measure that helps to assess why people attempt suicide .
Professor Klonsky said:
“ Knowing why someone attempted suicide is crucial – tell us the best way to help you recover . This new tool will help us to overcome the current “one-size-fits-all” approach to suicide prevention, which is essential. Different motivations require different treatments and interventions ”.