Assessment of patients at suicide risk by methods of suicidal discourse analysis

Written by Kovács Ágnes, Bogdán Noémi, Babos Hunor, Ládai Noémi, László József

Suicide is a complex bio-psycho-social phenomenon. According to the opinion of many authors, some of its aspects can be enlightened by applying the concepts of discursive suicidology. The theory of discursive suicidology is not only a method for research of the suicide related discursive products. It’s also a theoretical frame, appropriate to interpret the influence of culture and intersubjectivity on a particular suicide process. This study looked at the assessment and follow up of patients referred to Marosvasarhely University Mental Health Centre with suicidal thoughts or a suicidal attempt. The method used was based on suicidal discourse analysis. Patients were asked to create a tale, which was subsequently rated for symbols, explicit perfomative verbs and expressions of negation. The hypothesis was that the quality of the discourse can orientate the clinician in helping the patient to process events, thoughts and feelings that had previously lead to suicidal thoughts or plans.


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