Terminology

Language Matters: Committed Suicide vs. Completed Suicide vs. Died by Suicide

Language Matters: Committed Suicide vs. Completed Suicide vs. Died by Suicide

Written by on September 21, 2017 in All Posts, Misc, Suicide, Terminology with 13 Comments

People in the suicide prevention field discourage the use of the term “committed suicide.” The word “committed” (when followed by a noun instead of “to”) is generally reserved for crimes or acts that many people view as immoral. Someone commits burglary, or murder, or rape, or perjury, or adultery – or something else bad. Suicide […]

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Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

Across the Internet and elsewhere, people apply the term suicide survivor to two different groups of people: 1) people who struggled with suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, and survived, and 2) people who were never suicidal at all, but who lost a loved one to suicide.  In a post last year, I defined a suicide survivor […]

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What is a Suicide Gesture?

What is a Suicide Gesture?

Many clinicians and researchers advocate for abandoning the term “suicide gesture,” but its use still persists. Over the last few years, several definitions have been reported: “…A suicide gesture is like a one person play in which the actor creates a dramatic effect, not by killing or even attempting to kill himself, but by feigning […]

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Language about Suicide (Part 2): Who are Suicide Survivors?

Language about Suicide (Part 2): Who are Suicide Survivors?

UPDATE May 27, 2014: I have updated this post, to say that I no longer agree with the definitions below. Please see the post, “Wait, Who Is a Suicide Survivor Again?” I am leaving this post up because I’m told by bloggers far more experienced than I that you should never remove a post, only […]

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Language about Suicide (Part 1): The Power of Words

Language about Suicide (Part 1): The Power of Words

Most people in the suicide prevention community are passionate about using language that does not stigmatize those who die by or attempt suicide, or their loved ones. Unfortunately, this language is different from the terms that ordinary folks commonly use. “Committed Suicide” vs. “Died by Suicide” It is not at all uncommon to hear someone […]

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