The hypothesis of a continuum in suicidality: a discussion on its validity and practical implications

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Jerneja Sveticic
Diego De Leo *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Diego De Leo | d.deleo@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

The idea of a progression in suicide phenomena, from death wishes to suicide attempts and completed suicides, is quite old and widely present in literature. This model of interpreting suicidality has great relevance in preventative approaches, since it gives the opportunity of intercepting suicidal trajectories at several different stages. However, this may not be the case for many situations, and the hypothesis of a continuum can be true only in a limited number of cases, probably embedded with a specific psychopathological scenario (e.g. depression) and with a frequency that should not permit generalisations. This paper reviews the available evidence about the existence and validity of this construct, and discusses its practical implications.

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