Definitions

What is a suicide attempt?

There are different definitions of attempted suicide to be found. Centre for Suicide Research uses the WHO definition:

“Attempted suicide (parasuicide) is an act with a non-fatal outcome, in which an individual deliberately initiates a non-habitual behaviour that, without intervention from others, will cause self-harm, or deliberately ingests a substance in excess of the prescribed or generally recognized therapeutic dose, and which is aimed at realizing changes which the subject desired via the actual or expected physical consequences.”

Source: Working Group on Preventive Practices in Suicide and Attempted Suicide, York, 22-26 September 1986, arranged by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Summary report. Document ICP/PSF 017(S)). See WHO publication Suicidal Behaviour in Europe, by Unni-Bille Brahe

What is a suicide?

Like attempted suicide there are different definitions of suicide to be found. Centre for Suicide Research uses the WHO definition:

“Suicide is an act with fatal outcome, which was deliberately initiated and performed by the deceased, in the knowledge or expectation of its fatal outcome, and through which the deceased aimed at realizing changes he/she desired.”

Source: Working Group on Preventive Practices in Suicide and Attempted Suicide, York, 22-26 September 1986, arranged by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Summary report. Document ICP/PSF 017(S)). See WHO publication above.

 

What is suicidal behaviour?

Suicidal behaviour is a comprised designation for threats of suicide, suicide attempts and suicides.

 

What is suicidal ideation?

Suicidal ideation includes a wide spectrum ranging from transitory thoughts of suicide to troublesome and more or less constant suicidal ruminations.

 

How to describe the suicide process?

It is not possible to study thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts and suicides as separate phenomena. A suicide is generally an end result of a process of long duration that begins with passive thoughts which eventually are made more specific and result in suicidal behaviour. People use the concept of suicide process to describe the typical mental development from the initial serious suicidal ruminations through suicide messages and and suicide attempts to suicide. Most people, who commit suicide, have went through such a process. During the process the intensity of the propensity for suicidal behaviour can vary, moving in a negative or a positive direction. For most people this process does not end with a suicide.

 

What is self-harm?

In connection with the European project Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (The CASE Study) the following definition of the concept of self-harm has been given:

An act without fatal outcome where someone deliberately hurts or injures himself/herself. This can include one or more of the following actions:

  • Initiating an act (e.g. cutting oneself, jumping from heights) with the intention to harm oneself
  • Taking tablets or medicine in an amount exceeding the prescribed or generally recommended therapeutic dosage
  • Taking a sedative or an illegal drug as an act which the person considers to be self-harming
  • Consuming non-edible objects or drugs

Self-harm makes up a broader category than suicide and suicide attempt. Deliberate self-harm includes the intention of harming oneself, but not necessarily the wish to die. The gravity of self-harm can vary a great deal – from drinking alcohol in very large amount to cutting oneself.

Denne tekst blev senest opdateret den 23/07/2015