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Doctor tell me what are some of the personal factors in suicide. Because answering questions about your health is an important part of your doctor's services. The Minnesota State Medical Association presents doctor tell me here to ask the doctor your questions. Is Janice Hughes dead. Today your health questions will be answered by Dr. George Williams a psychiatrist from St. Paul. Dr. Williams How does a feeling of self-punishment influence suicide attempts. Well Jenna such a person feels that he has been unworthy or he's failed in a very significant way and must pay for his unworthiness and his failure with his own life. Is this at times the the fault of the consequences of someone else. Such persons may tell us that it is but actually it's extremely difficult for me to say that was someone else's fault. I think the individual is responsible for his own action his own life.
Is this perhaps the feeling that the alcoholic has. Yes it can well be the feeling that the alcoholic has simply because the alcoholic has used the drug alcohol to handle his anxiety his tension. And if he drinks to the state of being drunk then none of this can be looked upon is by some alcoholics with suicidal intent as a partial kind of death. What about the person who feels rejected and abandoned and feels that he can retaliate get back at someone or something for this. This is a rather this is a rather common mechanism Janice. The person feels angry rejected by certain people. He feels that he can't strike back at them. Therefore he turns this feeling back on himself with the thought they'll really feel sorry for me when I'm
dead. And in this way I can get even with them. Now there's only one difficulty with that. This person is not going to be around to enjoy this feeling for suicide is a very permanent kind of business. Do some people actually feel that they can regain control of the mess which they have made of their lives by committing suicide. Yes some people feel this. They feel that by suiciding they have some kind of omnipotent mastery over their own lives and it transcends normal thinking considerably for such a person and feels that although he will kill himself he still is sufficiently omnipotent to be around to see the results. This is a very very sick person. Then he's not in reality as far as it's permanent. No he's not. How about the suicidal patient who feels that suicide will provide an opportunity for a fresh start.
This is on the same continuum as your previous question. Again we see the omnipotence in that they overlook that suicide is final and they're going to either through some kind of delusional system become reborn or anyone any number of ways still be around after this final act. Do some patients suicidal patients feel that they are already dead. This is a very common kind of feeling. Such a person may well feel he has nothing to look forward to. Perhaps all his family and his friends are dead. Life may well hold no pleasure for him he gets no enjoyment out of anything for he won't permit it. For such an individual and death is an outward sign and only an outward sign of what he inwardly feels. It's all really true and this person has
been described variously. But the I think the most poignant description is he's described as the walking God. Thank you very much Dr. Williams. The Minnesota State Medical Association has presented Dr. tell me recorded in the studios of KUNM at the University of Minnesota. Janice whose dad has asked the doctor your questions if you have any additional questions write to Dr. tell me. Minnesota State Medical Association Three seventy five Jackson St.. St. Paul Minnesota 5 5 1 0 0 1. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Doctor tell me
Personal factors in suicide
Producing Organization
University of Minnesota
KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Program number 345 asks how a feeling of self-punishment factors into suicide.
Series Description
Weekly interviews with a Minneapolis-St. Paul area doctor about a current medical issue.
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Interviewee: Williams, George
Interviewer: Husted, Janice
Producing Organization: University of Minnesota
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35e-345 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:55
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Chicago: “Doctor tell me; Personal factors in suicide,” 1969-04-23, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “Doctor tell me; Personal factors in suicide.” 1969-04-23. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: Doctor tell me; Personal factors in suicide. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from