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August 1970

Suicide Potential and Time Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology (Dr. Yufit and Miss Fonte) and the Depression and Suicide Prevention Unit (Drs. Yufit and Fawcett and Miss Benzies), Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois Medical School (Drs. Yufit and Fawcett), Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(2):158-163. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750020062008

LATEST statistics regarding the suicide rate in the United States list 24,000 per year, ranking suicide at least tenth as a cause of death. It is not generally recognized that suicide ranks at least fourth in the young, productive ages (18 to 45), this rate having increased considerably in the last ten years.1 Since many suicides are never recorded as such, and still many other accidental deaths are considered equivocal as to cause (such as many of the 53,000 auto fatalities last year), the actual number of suicides has been conservatively estimated by some to be 60,000 or even 80,000 per year.2,3 The number of suicide gestures or attempts has likewise been judged to be at least several times the above cited rate, or over 150,000 per year.3-4 The resultant waste of human resource is immeasurable, as is the trauma experienced by the survivors of the person

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