Numerous studies have been undertaken in an attempt to arrive at a closer understanding of the phenomenon of suicide and to find some effective means of preventing it. Most of the literature presents statistics which have been interpreted from a psychologic, sociologic, and cultural point of view in an effort to explain why people try to commit suicide. To my mind, however, the important question is not why someone attempts suicide. Rather, I am concerned with the clinical picture of a suicidal person—what goes on in his mind, what psychobiologic process is it that is able to overpower the most vital protective forces of life, the instinct of self-preservation and the fear of death.
Objective and Method
What is it that precipitates such a complete and paradoxical change in basic human behavior? This study tried to find the answers. Although we used psychiatric
TRAUTMAN EC. The Suicidal FitA Psychobiologic Study on Puerto Rican Immigrants. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(1):76-83. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710130078009