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Reasons for Living

  • Raffaella Calati
  • Emilie Olié
  • Déborah Ducasse
  • Philippe Courtet
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Mental Health and Addiction book series (AMHA)

Abstract

Reasons for Living (RFL) are reasons that persons identify for staying alive when otherwise considering suicide, including elements of life such as beliefs and values, interpersonal relationships, and socio-cultural and religious/spiritual concerns. Hence, they are specifically linked to the concept of resilience to suicidality. Aims of this chapter are (1) to provide a broad overview of the link between RFL and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, focusing on the different scales developed for assessing RFL; and (2) to describe specific therapeutic strategies for suicide prevention connected to RFL enhancement.

A literature web search was performed to identify studies focusing on the link between RFL and suicidal thoughts and behaviors from 1983 until June 2017. Since our aim was not to perform a systematic review, the most representative studies have been included.

Eight scales have been described and compared: the Reasons for Living Inventory (RFLI), the Reasons for Living inventory for Adolescents (RFL-A), the College Student Reasons for Living Inventory (CS-RFLI), the Reasons for Living inventory for Young Adults (RFL-YA), the Reasons for Living for Older Adults scale (RFL-OA), the Chinese-language Motivations for Living Inventory (CMLI), the Protective Reasons against Suicide Inventory (PRSI), and the Reasons for Living versus Reasons for Dying Assessment developed in the context of the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS). Most historical evidence was attributed to the most studied measure, the RFLI: overall, a high total score was found to be potentially protective against both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in clinical and non-clinical samples. Promising treatments specifically focusing on RFL enhancement include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and CAMS, as well as Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapies (MBCT), Positive Psychology (PP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and problem-solving therapies.

Further investigation of RFL differences among different cultures and ages is warranted and should also account for major social changes occurring since the development of the first instruments. Moreover, our suggestion is that a focus on RFL has the potential to be integrated into every therapeutic intervention aiming at suicide prevention.

Keywords

Reasons for living Survival and coping beliefs Moral objections Fear of suicide Family concerns 

Acronyms

ACT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

CAMS

Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality

CB

Coping beliefs

CC

Child-related Concerns

CFC

College and Future-Related Concerns

CMLI

Chinese-language Motivations for Living Inventory

CS-RFLI

College Student Reasons for Living Inventory

DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

EMIL

Experienced Meaning in Life scale

FA

Family Alliance

FD

Fear of Death

FE

Future Expectations

FMS

Family Member Support

F/O

Family/Others

FO

Future Optimism

FR

Family Relations

FrS

Friend Support

FS

Fear of Suicide

FSD

Fear of Social Disapproval

HF

Hope for the Future

LS

Life Satisfaction

MBCT

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapies

MIL

Meaning in Life

MO

Moral Objections

MRO

Moral/Religious Objections

NIFM

Negative Impact on Family Members

NSSI

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

PAS

Peer-Acceptance and Support

PASTOR

Positive Appraisal Style Theory of Resilience

PP

Positive Psychology

PR

Peer Relations

PRSI

Protective Reasons against Suicide Inventory

PSE

Positive Self-Evaluation

RB

Religious Beliefs

RF

Responsibility to Family

RFD

Reasons for Dying

RFF

Responsibility to Friends and Family

RFL

Reasons for Living

RFL-A

Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents

RFLI

Reasons for Living Inventory

RFL-OA

Reasons for Living for Older Adults scale

RFL-YA

Reasons for Living Inventory for Young Adults

SA

Suicide Attempt

SelfA

Self-Acceptance

SD

Suicide Death

SCB

Survival and Coping Beliefs

SI

Suicidal Ideation

SRC

Suicide-Related Concerns

TMBI

Teachable Moment Brief Intervention

Notes

Acknowledgments

Raffaella Calati: Thanks to P.G.M., who has represented one of my reasons for living. Dr. Raffaella Calati received a grant from FondaMental Foundation, Créteil, France (2015–2016). Dr. Emilie Olié received research grants from AstraZeneca, Servier, Institut UPSA de la Douleur and fees for presentations at congresses from Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Servier. Prof. Philippe Courtet received research grants from Servier, and fees for presentations at congresses or participation in scientific boards from Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Servier.

Conflicts of interest: None.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raffaella Calati
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Emilie Olié
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Déborah Ducasse
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Philippe Courtet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Neuropsychiatry: Epidemiological and Clinical ResearchINSERM, University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Department of Emergency Psychiatry and Acute Care, Lapeyronie HospitalCHU MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.FondaMental FoundationCréteilFrance

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