Apologies for the morbid subject matter - wanted to check with those with psych know-how if something I heard ages ago was true.
The gist being that different methods of suicide were indicative of different psychologies - the only one I can remember being that if someone OD’s, it’s not generally an attempt at death but a ‘cry for help’, and that the after-attempt care should be tailored appropriately.
Anyone heard anything similar? Is there any difference between choosing a rope, gas, etc for the treatment of the patient afterwards?
It’s somewhat difficult to attribute a set of mental disorders (apart from depression) to the method of suicide.
This paper (WARNING: pdf file) is a survey of suicides from the Maryland Violent Death Reporting System data, and it lists many other factors that could be stronger factors than a mental illness diagnosis. For example, consider age versus suicide method. The use of firearms is higher in the elderly than in teenagers. Hanging/suffocation is higher in teenagers. Only about half of the suicide victims had a history of mental health treatment. This is further confounded by drug and alcohol use.
I don’t doubt that your hypothesis has merit, but I personally suspect that the answer is a bit more complex than an individual’s psychology determining the method of suicide with any reasonable precision. My (uneducated) guess is that it’s likely to be an interaction between various factors, with the type of mental illness being less important than something like age.
I was told by someone who carried out autopsies, that its common that attention seekers as he called them, or "Cries for help " as we would call them, go through a progression.
They start off usually with laughably small amounts of a drug, on the next occasion they up it a level, and then on each subsequent “event” up it a little; until the day comes when they just slightly exceed the dose and it kills them.
He told me that people who honestly wish to kill themselves are 99% successful first time, and if through bad luck don’t make it, are 100% successful the second time.