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Title: Suicide in Japan : history, concept and clinical aspects
Author: Cho, Y.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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This dissertation empirically examines the nature of suicide in the present-day Japan. Consistent with findings from Western countries, this study found that nearly 90% of completed suicides suffered from mental disorders at the time of suicide. This indicates that despite the popular view that the so-called rational suicide is prevailing in Japan, most suicides in Japan, as in other countries are related to mental disorders and hence should be regarded as a medical condition. An uncommonly high prevalence of schizophrenic disorders and an unusually low prevalence of substance use disorders amongst suicides were found in this sample, which many be a feature of suicide throughout Japan. The latter observation may be explained by the low prevalence of substance use disorders in Japan. With regard to suicide in schizophrenia, although in this study case-control comparisons between suicides and living psychiatric patients did not uncover potential risk factors for suicide that are specific to Japan's population, it might be possible that culture-specific factors are related to suicide. Thus, a more extended psychological autopsy study is required. In conducting such a study, as this study found, culturally-fitted psychological autopsy investigation is needed both for more understanding of the nature of suicide and for promoting the mental health of survivors. Investigation into the suicidal process found that depressed mood triggered suicidal feelings across psychiatric diagnoses, although the way in which depressed mood and suicidality develop is diagnosis-specific. Considering the commonality in the suicidal process across diagnoses, the author hypothesised that in the final stage, a strong 'passion' towards suicide triggers a dissociative state, where actual self-harm is accomplished in a state of constricted consciousness, and that patients with more dissociative tendencies tend to be more vulnerable to suicidal behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available