Davis, J and Money, TT and Pridmore, S, Suicidal thinking and behaviour as of 600 BCE (Aesop's fables), Australasian Psychiatry, 25, (4) pp. 373-375. ISSN 1039-8562 (2017) [Refereed Article]
© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2016
Objective: Psychiatry has ignored history, anthropology, sociology and literature in the search for enlightenment regarding suicide. Our objective was to determine what, if anything, Aesopís fables had to teach us about suicide in around 600 BCE. Aesopís account is around two centuries older than the oldest text (Herodotus: The histories) previously examined by our group.
Method: We examined two translations of Aesopís fables, seeking accounts fitting the following categories: (1) suicidal thinking, (2) suicidal behaviour without fatal consequences, and (3) suicidal behaviour with fatal consequences.
Results: One account fitting each of these categories was identified. The triggers were: (i) self-doubt and criticism, (ii) unpleasant predicament (constant fear), and (iii) inescapable physical pain.
Conclusion: Evidence indicates that around 600 BCE, suicide was practised as a means of coping with self-doubt and criticism, unpleasant predicaments and inescapable physical pain. Recent scientific evidence confirms these observations.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||suicide, medical anthropology, suicidal thoughts|
|Research Division:||Medical and Health Sciences|
|Research Group:||Public Health and Health Services|
|Research Field:||Mental Health|
|Objective Group:||Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)|
|Objective Field:||Mental Health|
|Author:||Pridmore, S (Professor Saxby Pridmore)|
|Year Published:||2017 (online first 2016)|
|Deposited By:||Medicine (Discipline)|
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