Suicidal

Why we kill ourselves

Authoritative, accessible, personal, profound—there’s never been a book on suicide like this. It will help you understand yourself and your loved ones, and it will change the way you think about this most vexing of human problems.

Published in the UK as A Very Human Ending: How Suicide Haunts Our Species.

Synopsis

For much of his thirties, Jesse Bering thought he was probably going to kill himself. He was a successful psychologist and writer, with books to his name and bylines in major magazines. But none of that mattered. The impulse to take his own life remained. At times it felt all but inescapable.

Bering survived. And in addition to relief, the fading of his suicidal thoughts brought curiosity. Where had they come from? Would they return? Is the suicidal impulse found in other animals? Or is our vulnerability to suicide a uniquely human evolutionary development? In Suicidal, Bering answers all these questions and more, taking us through the science and psychology of suicide, revealing its cognitive secrets and the subtle tricks our minds play on us when we’re easy emotional prey. Scientific studies, personal stories, and remarkable cross-species comparisons come together to help readers critically analyze their own doomsday thoughts while gaining broad insight into a problem that, tragically, will most likely touch all of us at some point in our lives. But while the subject is certainly a heavy one, Bering’s touch is light. Having been through this himself, he knows that sometimes the most effective response to our darkest moments is a gentle humor, one that, while not denying the seriousness of suffering, at the same time acknowledges our complicated, flawed, and yet precious existence.

Authoritative, accessible, personal, profound—there’s never been a book on suicide like this. It will help you understand yourself and your loved ones, and it will change the way you think about this most vexing of human problems.

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Release date

November 5, 2018

Coming Soon
ISBN

9780226463322

Dimensions

6.0 × 9.0 in / 272 pages

"Bering carefully balances his natural whimsy and avid curiosity with deep compassion in this look at how suicidal urges work ... Both heartening and deeply illuminating.”

Publishers Weekly

"Sadly, the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, our minds forever pulling us into dark forests. But there are numerous stages at which we can step off that path before it's too late. Drawing on research evidence and the world around us, Bering signposts and, we can hope, saves.”

Dr. Jon Sutton editor of The Psychologist

“A brave and important exploration of a subject we urgently need to demystify. It will change every reader for the better.”

Derren Brown

“[An] affecting study of suicide … a disturbing but compelling book. This isn’t just a mix of statistics, academic arguments and moving case studies. Bering also writes from the inside as one who, since his teenage years, has, at times, felt what he refers to as the ‘call to oblivion’.”

The Guardian

"I'm not surprised that a book on suicide would be very personal, but I didn’t expect it to be so damn funny. It's also engaging, thoughtful, and sensitive--although Bering is certainly irreverent, there is a real appreciation of how painful and difficult this topic can be. This is a book for scholars and for a general audience, but it is also entirely suitable for people whose lives have been touched by the suicide of someone they loved.”

Paul Bloom, author of Against Empathy

"Jesse Bering asks the questions no one else dares, he tells truths that others shy away from, and he writes the books that I wish I had written. To me, he is everything a great scientist and communicator should be. Suicide may be an uncomfortable subject yet the escalating numbers of people who take their lives each year means we must make it’s unravelling our priority. I have no doubt this book will have a profound impact on all who read it, and add considerably to our understanding of that self-willed oblivion, whether it lies palpably just beneath our own skin, or the skins of those we love. But perhaps most importantly of all it will help dispel the stigma and shame that so perniciously clings to all suicides."

Dr. Christian Jessen

Translations & other editions

No items found.
Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.