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November 2, 1970

Suicidal Behavior After Restoration of Sight

Author Affiliations

Suicide Prevention Service 560 Main Street, Buffalo

JAMA. 1970;214(5):916. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180050070022

To the Editor.—  Fitzgerald1 has documented the emotional response of people to loss of sight and noted that suicidal ideation was common in these individuals. I have argued that certain kinds of changes which superficially appear to be positive changes may also lead to negative emotional reactions (Psychol Rep, to be published). If a circumstance that was formerly held responsible for the person's misery is removed, then internalization of blame and self-destructive behavior may be more likely to occur. One of the changes possibly increasing self-destructive behavior is restoration of sight to those formerly blind. However, I have not been able to find evidence to document this particular assertion. If any reader knows of published work or has unpublished data relevant to this assertion, I would very much appreciate receiving details.