Ageism and suicide prevention

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de Leo, Diego
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2018
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Suicide in old age is often considered to be the result of a rational decision. Frailty, dependence on others, loss of a partner, and loneliness are seen as reasons that might explain many instances of suicide. Similarly, suicide can be interpreted as a legitimate exit in case of dramatic changes in social status and role. Ageistic views tend to consider depression as a normal feature of the ageing process, and advanced age as the antecedent of an anticipated and definitive ending. Accumulation of physical illnesses and disabilities, life events, and losses can be seen as the so-called right cause to step out of this stage of life. This interpretation—the ultimate corollary of senectus ipsa morbus —overlaps with the idea of elderly people being overwhelmed by their emotions, and seeing suicide as their only escape from an unbearable situation.

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Lancet Psychiatry

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5

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3

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© 2020 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

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Clinical sciences

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Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Psychiatry

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de Leo, D, Ageism and suicide prevention, Lancet Psychiatry, 2018, 5 (3), pp. 192-193

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