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Exploring the Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide: A Research Agenda for Communi-Suicidology
Unformatted Document Text:  Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide 5 intervention is “a paternalistic act that involves forcing the therapist’s values on the client” (p. 297). Based on this and other common characteristics, Shneidman (1985) proposed a definition of suicide: “currently in the Western world, suicide is a conscious act of self-induced annihilation, best understood as a multidimensional malaise in a needful individual who defines an issue for which the suicide is perceived as the best solution” (p. 203). However, Werth (1996) asserted that this definition does not recognize rational suicide. In Shneidman’s explication of his definition, he refers to the aspect of malaise: “in this sense, suicide is more akin to delinquency or prostitution or craziness” (p. 207). Mayo (1992) offered a more rational definition of suicide: “to commit suicide is to end one’s own life intentionally” (p. 88). This is the first definition mentioned that explicitly addresses the intentionality of suicide. However, for the purpose of this paper, Shneidman’s (1985) taxonomy and definition will suffice. Interpersonal Communication Model of Suicide Now that suicide has been explicated and defined, the interpersonal communicative aspects of suicide can be analyzed and synthesized. Miraldi (2001) proposed a communication perspective of suicidology, entitled “communi-suicidology,” and developed a model to identify every aspect of communication related to suicide, including individual/cognitive aspects, interpersonal relationships, media effects, behavioral links and

Authors: Miraldi, Peter.
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Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide 5
intervention is “a paternalistic act that involves forcing the
therapist’s values on the client” (p. 297).
Based on this and other common characteristics, Shneidman
(1985) proposed a definition of suicide: “currently in the
Western world, suicide is a conscious act of self-induced
annihilation, best understood as a multidimensional malaise in a
needful individual who defines an issue for which the suicide is
perceived as the best solution” (p. 203). However, Werth (1996)
asserted that this definition does not recognize rational
suicide. In Shneidman’s explication of his definition, he refers
to the aspect of malaise: “in this sense, suicide is more akin to
delinquency or prostitution or craziness” (p. 207). Mayo (1992)
offered a more rational definition of suicide: “to commit suicide
is to end one’s own life intentionally” (p. 88). This is the
first definition mentioned that explicitly addresses the
intentionality of suicide. However, for the purpose of this
paper, Shneidman’s (1985) taxonomy and definition will suffice.
Interpersonal Communication Model of Suicide
Now that suicide has been explicated and defined, the
interpersonal communicative aspects of suicide can be analyzed
and synthesized. Miraldi (2001) proposed a communication
perspective of suicidology, entitled “communi-suicidology,” and
developed a model to identify every aspect of communication
related to suicide, including individual/cognitive aspects,
interpersonal relationships, media effects, behavioral links and


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