The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention: A Global Perspective

By Apter, Alan | The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, April 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention: A Global Perspective


Apter, Alan, The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences


The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention: A Global Perspective Danuta Wasserman and Camilla Wasserman, Editors 2009; Hardback, pp. 872, £ 75-00 ISBN: 987-O-198-57OO5-9

Worldwide, one person dies every 40 seconds as a result of suicide, and every 5-10 seconds, there occurs a suicide attempt. Suicide is one of the main leading causes of death among certain groups, and has gained global attention as a serious public health problem. However, the nature of suicide is a complex matter, as it is the end result of many underlying biological, psychological, cultural and social factors that often coincide with one another. Understanding the complexities of suicide and suicidal behavior are essential initiatives in formulating effective treatments and preventive inteventions.

The present textbook, edited by Danuta Wasserman and Camilla Wasserman, examines the multifaceted factors of suicide and suicidal behavior and provides a comprehensive resource for understanding the intricate context of suicidality. The textbook is strategically divided into 15 parts and comprises 134 chapters. This textbook has a big folioformat that illustrate an articulate framework of the suicide processes.

In the first five parts in the textbook, there are several fundamental themes in focus, which primarily concentrate on the cultural, epidemiological, theoretical, biological, political and social implications of suicide and suicidal behavior. Depicted in the cultural chapters are the intriguing and sometimes controversial attitudes in different religions towards suicide. The chapters provide an overview on how the role of religion affects the ideology of suicide in modern and historical times. Moreover, it provides a proficient comparison among the diverse cultures (around the world), and the impact it has on suicidality, e.g., feelings of guilt and condemnation in Christianity and acceptance in Shinto religion.

The section on epidemiology underscores the magnitude and implications of suicide and suicidal behavior on all the continents, thus, demonstrating the significance of this major public health problem worldwide. In addition, theoretical concepts are addressed, which provides insight into the social, psychoanalytical and psychological schemes of suicidality, and demonstrates empirical evidence to support those assertions. Moreover, included in part three, are chapters that describe the biological and genetic factors associated with suicide. These remarkable chapters provide evidence-based research that exemplifies that suicide is not only a result of environmental circumstance, but entails also the biological and genetic predisposition. The subsequent chapters in the first five parts concentrate on the political and social implications of suicide across all continents. …

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