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Presuicidal Syndrome and Suicidal Progress

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Presuicidal Syndrome (E. Ringel) and Suicidal Progress (W. Pöldinger)

Ringel's presuicidal syndrome

Ervin Ringel was an Austrian doctor. After WW2 he established an institute for "the weary of life". He found some typical and repeating aspects in suicides to be:

  • isolation from the environment
  • drawing off into themselves
  • loss of previous interests
  • self-accusation
  • damped self-aggression
  • suicidal thoughts, dreams and fantasie

Suicidal progress according to W. Pöldinger

Suicidal progress means particular steps in a potential suicide's thinking:

  1. Consideration
  2. Ambivalence – the suicidal intention was adopted but hasn’ t yet tilt ed the scale
  3. Decision – observable relief and getting ready for suicide

There is also a slightly enhanced model of Pöldingers suicidal progress containing five steps:

  1. Thoughts – e.g. life is not worth while, I can't go on anymore...
  2. Tendencies – I'll kill myself...
  3. Consideration – How to do it? To jump? To shoot myself? To drown myself?
  4. Decision – e.g. I'll buy and drink a bottle of whisky and then jump.
  5. Realization

There is a remarkable experience: In the initial stages, one is usually worried and not all right to the eye. But when they come to a decision, they can experience a strong relief – because they solved their problem. To the others, such a person can appear to have taken an elixir so it seems he or she is all right again. Finally the family and friends are stunned and try to find what happened, why the person harmed himself or herself, when he or she had seemed to be already in the clear . But the person had not; just the other people were had and did not appreciate the relevance of the situation.
Suicidal declaration should not be underestimated.

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