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The experience of agency in the feeling of being suicidal

Benson, O, Gibson, S and Brand, Sarah 2013. The experience of agency in the feeling of being suicidal. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8) , pp. 56-79.

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Based on a qualitative study with 124 participants we explore what is in ordinary language referred to as 'suicidal feelings'. We identify four interrelated aspects of this experience, which together suggest that 'suicidal feelings' is in fact a 'feeling of being suicidal', an existential feeling. Although each experience is unique in its presentation, it is also the case that people who are suicidal tend to experience a combination of the following: 1) loss of consistency and/ or coherence in their sense of self; 2) a disruption in the reciprocal action between self and world; 3) serious depletion of their mental resources; and 4) a disturbance of embodiment. We then argue that 'the feeling of being suicidal' should be understood as a disruption in the experience of the self as an agent and that this forms the appropriate background for interpreting suicidal thoughts and intentions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Imprint Academic
ISSN: 1355-8250
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2021 02:27

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