The wish to die and the wish to commit suicide in the adolescent: Two different matters?

Iris Manor, Michel Vincent, Sam Tyano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We shall try to demonstrate the difference between two wishes - the wish to die and the wish to commit suicide - as they express themselves during adolescence. First, death is seen as irreversible, while the suicidal act, at least during adolescence, is seen as reversible. While thoughts of suicide may be a part of normal adolescence, and the suicidal act a manifestation of pathological development specific to this stage in life, the wish to die has no age restrictions and may accompany life as a shadow, devoid of any suicidal act, for many years. It should be noted that both of these wishes may be balanced with the wish to live. Pathology appears when there is an imbalance of wishes and abnormal developmental processes. This imbalance can result in two distinct activities: suicidal acts and death behaviors. We suggest that the two stem from different mechanisms and personality pathologies. Therefore, they should be evaluated separately in order to better understand differences between suicidal and other aggressive acts and manifestations of the death wish during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-293
Number of pages15
JournalAdolescence
Volume39
Issue number154
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The wish to die and the wish to commit suicide in the adolescent: Two different matters?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this