Understanding the dynamic balance between the wish to live and wish to die has promise as a unique predictor of suicide risk and resilience. In this chapter we present evidence of this interplay in three large samples (non-clinical; emergency care patients; psychiatric inpatients) at different levels of suicide risk tested across time. There is now growing and compelling evidence that the longstanding practice of conceptualizing and monitoring suicidal desire only as the strength of the wish to die, without regard to also enquiring about a potentially competing wish to live, is neither theoretically sound nor clinically aligned with the experience of at-risk individuals or suicidal patients. The relative strength of the wish to live and the wish to die is variable and fluid, and changes in this relative balance are associated with different trajectories of risk and resilience.
|Title of host publication||Alternatives to Suicide|
|Subtitle of host publication||Beyond Risk and Toward a Life Worth Living|
|Editors||Andrew C. Page, Werner G.K. Stritzke|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jan 2020|