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March 6, 1991

Suicide Over the Life Cycle: Risk Factors, Assessment, and Treatment of Suicidal Patients

Author Affiliations

Elizabeth (NJ) General Medical Center

Elizabeth (NJ) General Medical Center

JAMA. 1991;265(9):1183-1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460090133048

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While there is no dearth of new books on suicide, the present volume is outstanding as a textbook for its rigor and comprehensiveness. As a health care issue, suicide remains, along with other behaviorally based health care issues, largely unaltered by the remarkable advances in the area of scientific psychiatry and medicine. Suicide rates persist, reflective of forces outside direct medical care and unaltered by the enormous attention given the subject.

The very title of the present volume moves squarely to the basic issue, often overlooked, that the problem of suicide comprises not one but many human presentations. The manifestations of suicidal behavior, both fatal and attempted, may represent quite different phenomena and clinical challenges over the life cycle. Suicide among adolescents differs markedly from suicide among the elderly. Similarly, suicide in different subpopulations reflects different factors and descriptive elements.

Blumenthal and Kupfer have provided a volume that goes beyond