Disruptions of Intentionality and Suicidal Behavior

  • Orestis Giotakos
Keywords: suicide, intentionality, emotion, feelings, emotional intentionality, intentionality failure, cusp catastrophe model, nonlinear models, entrapment, suicide risk


Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in all ages. Entrapment plays a key role, characterizing the tunnel vision of individuals experiencing suicidal distress, with suicide becoming the only perceived escape route. Failure or loss of intentionality, precipitating entrapment, maybe is another key factor in the transition from suicidal ideation to enactment. There is not a typical suicide victim and the fluctuating pattern of suicidality can be better explained with non-linear models. The cusp catastrophe model can demonstrate the distal and proximal risks of suicide, including the spectrum of disturbed emotional intentionality. For those with high distal risk, a small increase in a proximal risk may push an individual to jump in a suicidal episode, in a non-linear way. On the other hand, a permanent loss of intentionality object dominates in patients with poor insight, who have feelings that do not represent anything outside of themselves. Emotional intentionality theories can enrich our understanding of the transition phase from suicidal ideation to suicidal action.
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