A Study on the Hypnotic Susceptibility of Persons Attempting Suicide: Some Therapeutic Considerations
Hungary is one of the leading countries in the 1968 international suicide rate listed by the World Health Organization. Until now, only the social factors underlying suicides have been studied rather than psychodynamic factors. As it was reported in one of our previous works in 40 per cent of attempted suicide cases an example of suicide could be found in the immediate social environment. It occurred to us that suicide in the subculture might have a direct and/or indirect suggestive effect on the personal resolving pattern of crisis situations. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there is a relationship between suggestibility and the effect of suicide examples in the social environment. In order to judge the suggestibility of persons attempting suicide hypnotic susceptibility was measured by standardized scales. The measures of hypnotic susceptibility were compared in four groups; (1) attempted suicide with suicide example in the immediate social environment, (2) attempted suicide without suicide example in the immediate social environment, (3) no attempted suicide (neurotic patients and normal students) with suicide example in the immediate social environment and (4) no attempted suicide without suicide example in the immediate social environment. The hypnotic susceptibility of group (1) was higher than average. Our results suggest that high hypnotic susceptibility — as an indicator of strong suggestibility — might mediate social environmental effects and thus may facilitate the occurrence of suicide attempts in crisis situations. Due to high hypnotic susceptibility hypnotherapy seems to be indicated in the after-care of persons who have attempted suicide.
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