[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1973

Creative Suicidal Crises

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(2):258-263. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200020080011

There is a group of artistic creative efforts which are accompanied by suicide-like states. It is hypothesized that these states are part of the artist's attempt to shut himself off from an external world seen as rejecting. At the same time, the artist calls upon inner resources to develop a new creation.

This hypothesis may help explicate a certain group of clinical suicidal crises. In this group, the suicidal state signals a movement of the subject away from an untenable mode of life into a new and hopefully rewarding one.