Thomas Joiner is Distinguished Research Professor and Bright-Burton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University.
Myths about Suicide seeks to debunk the myriad ways that
suicide is stigmatized by ignorance, disgust, contempt, and
callousness. -- Peter Monaghan * Chronicle of Higher Education
In this very readable book, Joiner's wide ranging knowledge of the subject leads to deeply penetrating thoughts on the psychology of suicide. He attacks myths from multiple perspectives, drawing on materials from biblical times to the present, scientific research studies and clinical case studies, animal studies, literature, popular culture, and film. The book also advances Joiner's own theory of suicide: people who kill themselves feel that they are a burden to their socially significant others and feel alienated from society. Whether readers are beginning students or advanced researchers, they will find an abundance of stimulating thought and data here. -- W. Feigelman * Choice *
When people kill themselves and those left behind are interviewed, they often respond with timeworn phrases, understandably. But such cliches often only spread myths...Joiner doesn't discuss the morality of killing oneself, nor how suicide can sometimes be a reasonable option. Rather, he seeks to spread the truth about suicide while "leaving a healthy fear of it intact." In that way, many lives may be saved and much anguish averted. Joiner's theory is that people desire suicide when they simultaneously hold these two psychological states in their minds for long enough: the perception that one is a burden and the sense that one does not belong. Only a more widespread and accurate understanding of suicide, he insists, can help counteract such states and prevent unnecessary deaths. -- Susan K. Perry * Psychology Today *