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Suicide and related behaviour in Dostoyevsky novels

Citation

Pridmore, S and Pridmore, W, Suicide and related behaviour in Dostoyevsky novels, ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, 16, (1) pp. 69-74. ISSN 2231-7805 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 ASEAN Federation of Psychiatry and Mental Health

Official URL: http://www.aseanjournalofpsychiatry.org/index.php/...

Abstract

Objective: To examine the presentations of suicide and related behaviour in the novels of Dostoyevsky, with a view to understanding suicide in mid-19th Century Russia, and to use this as a point of reference when reading 21st Century western academic suicide literature.

Methods: Dostoyevsky’s three most prominent novels, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov were examined for the text events, 1) completed suicide, 2) suicide attempts, 3) suicidal thoughts, and 4) other mentions of suicide. Findings were compared with current orthodox Western medical literature.

Results: In Dostoyevsky’s Russia suicide occurred not infrequently and the methods were hanging, shooting and drowning. The triggers were predominantly social factors (in contrast to the current time when the triggers are reported to be predominantly mental disorders). Attempted suicide appears to have been less common than suicide, and limited to occasions when others thwarted deadly actions (in contrast to the current time in which overdose and cutting are frequently encountered). Suicidal thoughts were common among the healthy population (which is in agreement with some current findings).

Conclusions: To examine the presentations of suicide and related behaviour in the novels of Dostoyevsky, with a view to understanding suicide in mid-19th Century Russia, and to use this as a point of reference when reading 21st Century western academic suicide literature.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:suicide, suicide prevention, mental disorder
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Mental Health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Mental Health
Author:Pridmore, S (Professor Saxby Pridmore)
Author:Pridmore, W (Mr William Pridmore)
ID Code:97988
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Medicine (Discipline)
Deposited On:2015-01-27
Last Modified:2016-05-10
Downloads:0

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