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The Many Causes

From Why People Die By Suicide, By Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., (Harvard University Press, 2007)

"At the moment of conception, a baby’s future is not fully plotted, but some of its general trajectories can be discerned. Genes influence neurobiology, including the serotonin system. Genes also influence personality traits like impulsivity, and this influence may occur mostly through genes’ impact on the serotonin systems. Genetics, neurobiology, and personality all interact in complex ways with an individual’s life experience. Early adverse experience, including childhood abuse and neglect, heightens the risk for later problems, especially in vulnerable people. One set of such problems is mental disorders, which, in addition to the agony and impairment they cause, clearly confer risk to suicidal behavior. Genes, neurobiology, impulsivity, childhood adversity, and mental disorders are interconnected strands that converge and can influence whether people acquire the ability for lethal self-injury, feel a burden on others, and fail to feel that they belong. This lethal endpoint is the culmination of processes started a conception and furthered, biologically and through experience, over a person’s lifetime" (p. 202).

Comments

09/01/2011 at 1:44 AM
cali
What about anit-depressants? Does anyone think that the drug companies would put a warning about the risk of suicidal behavior on their label if they didn't cause suicide? Drug companies are notoriously profit driven. There must be a lot of evidence connecting anti-depressants to suicide for them to put such warnings on their packaging.
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