University Of Tasmania

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Suicide by couples from the public record

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 03:41 authored by Saxby PridmoreSaxby Pridmore, Reddy, A
Objective: The aim of this paper was to examine accounts on the public record of suicide by couples, with a view to extending our clinical understanding of such events. Method: A collection of print reports was examined and a web search was conducted. Cases were generally only accepted when the names, ages, locations and method of death of the individuals were provided, along with sufficient detail to convey the rudiments of the social and physical setting. Cases were then arranged into groups and classified using a typology of suicide. Results: Twelve cases were identified which provide valuable insights into the lives of couples who suicide. We found 11 married female-male couples and one female-female couple. A large group (seven couples) was characterized by severe or terminal illness in one or both partners. A small group (three couples) was characterized by serious legal problems. One couple was grieving the loss of an only child, and one example involved a psychotic individual, folie a deux and consequent social stressors. The terminal illness group, the legal difficulties group and the bereaved couple could be classified as 'Type 3 suicide' according to the first author's suicide classification. The case involving the psychotic individual and consequent social stressors could be classified as a combination of Type 1 and Type 3 suicide. Conclusion: Reports on the public record of suicide by couples provide valuable insights into the lives of participants, and their suicides could be grouped (terminal illness, legal difficulties, other) and classified using a typology. © 2010 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.


Publication title

Australasian Psychiatry










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Informa Healthcare

Place of publication

New York

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

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