After half a century of research, psychology can’t predict suicidal behaviours better than by coin flip

My next contribution to Research Digest. As it is about huge failure of psychology, it would be inappropriately to say “enjoy reading”, but I encourage you to do it anyway.

After half a century of research, psychology can’t predict suicidal behaviours better than by coin flip

African American Depressive Sad Broken Heart Concept

By guest blogger Tomasz Witkowski

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide” the French author and philosopher Albert Camus stated. But it is not only philosophers who are moved by this issue. Psychologists are seeking ways of preventing this tragic death, and health care organisations are sounding the alarm. Around a million people die at their own hand every year, which makes suicide the tenth most common cause of death. Additionally, for every completed suicide, there are 10 to 40 survived attempts, which means that in the USA alone 650,000 people each year are taken to emergency rooms following an attempt on their own life. Yet what is most disturbing is that the number of suicides is continually rising. The WHO reports that since the 1960s this number has grown over 60 per cent.

Is psychology capable of identifying the risk factors that can push people to take their own lives? Read more…

 

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