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September 16, 1950

How to Stop Killing Yourself

JAMA. 1950;144(3):283. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920030071048

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This is another of the author's lively contributions to the literature of health education. This time he deals with the hidden impulse toward self destruction, which plays a larger or smaller part in the life of every human being. He touches first on the psychiatric theory of self preservation versus self destruction, including some humorous but trenchant remarks on suicide by not cooperating with your doctor and a sensible explanation of the somewhat startling fact that hypochrondriacs live longer. He includes in the self destructive category neuroses, accidents, alcoholism, overweight, heart ailments and blood pressure and other major ills, and then proceeds to the much livelier discussion of antidotes for minor ills. He is blandly unafraid of lampooning the sacred cows of public health, health education and medicine, and makes out an excellent case for his often original and always stimulating attitudes. He even goes so far as to return

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