What is the psychodynamic theory of suicidal behaviors?

Updated: Jul 26, 2021
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Several individual psychodynamic ways of viewing suicide exist. In one situation, patients deflect anger inward to hurt themselves when they want to strike out at others. An example would be a young person taking a drug overdose to punish his or her parents after being grounded for misbehavior.

Alternately, the psychoanalytic notion exists of incorporation and killing the interject. In this situation, patients have unconsciously incorporated an ambivalently held object (eg, a family member). For example, a man incorporates his father. He then attacks the interject (father) by killing himself.

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