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Suicide in Doctor Zhivago
Background: The belief that all suicide is the result of mental disorder continues to be strongly held.
Aim: To examine Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak for evidence of the triggers of suicide in Russia in the first half of the 20th century.
Method: We examined this text, noting examples of, 1) suicide, 2) attempted suicide, and 3) other mentions of suicide.
Results: We found 3 examples of suicide, 1 example of attempted suicide, and 5 examples of other mentions of suicide. The triggers included loss of status, honour, fortune, child and lover. There was no example of suicide as the result of mental disorder.
Discussion/Conclusion: The triggers of suicide in Russia in the first half of the 20th century are similar to those across the time and place of history and are frequently triggered by social, political and economic problems.
Publication titleDynamics of Human Health
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherThe Good Life Research Centre Trust
Place of publicationonline