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Grief & Suicide Terms


Grief & Suicide Terms: A


Grief & suicide terms, words and phrases are often used by crisis counselors and others in the health-care field. You can study these and/or copy them to your dictionary.

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Abandonment Unilateral discontinuation of patient relationship and treatment by a clinician.
Abnormal grief Prolonged, difficult, complicated response associated with traumatic loss. See unresolved grief.
Abnormal grief reaction Individual behavioral and/or emotional condition caused by a severe loss.
Abuser Individual that engages in substance abuse.
Access Capability of an individual or group to receive needed services.
Accessibility Proximity to lethal means by a suicidal individual.
Active euthanasia See direct euthanasia.
Active intervention Activities that involve a change of behavior by an at-risk individual.
Active listening Hotline intervention technique to reaffirm what caller says he/she feels.
Active suicidal ideation State of acute thought of completing suicide associated with imminent risk (Sivak et al.)
acute Sharp, sudden, severe or short-term (e.g., acute grief).
Acute mourning Initial phase of disorientation, dulled senses, denial, yearning.
Acute psychiatric crisis Individual that is suicidal, psychotic, or experiencing other severe trauma.
Acute stress reaction Individual response to traumatic external event lasting 3 months or less.
Acute suicide threat Individual has lethal means and voices intent.
Adjunctive therapy Occupational, recreational, creative therapies used with other treatments or alone.
Adolescent suicide Completion of suicide by a youth between ages 11-18.
Adolescent suicide
syndrome
Characterized by impulsiveness, reactive, aggression towards self, social loss.
Adult suicide Completion of suicide by an individual between ages 19-64.
Adverse event Unforeseen or unexpected and undesired outcome of medical treatment.
Affect Psychological state, e.g., feeling, mood, demeanor, or emotion.
Affective education School program to help students better understand their feelings and recognize risk.
Aftercare Post-loss support services to the bereaved or other traumatized individuals. See post-vention.
Age-correspondence
reaction
Acute grief triggered by age similarity to lost loved one.
Age-specific Suicide rate broken down by age groupings (see Cohort).
Agenerative suicide Caused by personal alienation (Shneidman).
Agitation Extreme restlessness common in individuals in suicidal crisis (see psychomotor agitation).
Alcohol myopia Effect of alcohol on thought processes that may be associated with a propensity to suicide (Rogers).
Alienation Feeling of being apart from or unattached to others.
Alliance for safety Joint plan between clinician and client with shared goal to prevent suicide (Gutheil).
Altruistic suicide Suicide as self-sacrifice (Durkheim).
Ambiguous grief Occurs when loss is psychologically felt but not physically confirmed.
Ambivalence Suicidal individual's wish to both live and die.
Ambivalent attempt Attempted suicide involving nonlethal means and felt to not be intended to result in death.
Amputation metaphor Loss analogy commonly used by grieving parents (e.g., loss of child like loss of limb).
Anaclitic depression Depressive disorder caused by loss of parent or other dependent relationship.
Analgesia The process and outcome of relieving or reducing pain.
Analgesic Medication that controls or reduces pain.
Anatomy of melancholy Text by Robert Burton (1577-1640) giving first modern interpretation of suicide.
Anhedonia Inability to experience pleasure; a traumatic loss reaction.
Anniversary reaction Worsening or return of grieving on dates related to the loss.
Anniversary trigger Idea that people tend to die near key dates in their lives.
Anomic suicide Type caused by a disrupted relationship (Durkheim).
Anticipatory grief Grief in expectation of a terminally ill loved one's death (Lindemann).
Antidepressants Psychotropic medications used to treat depression.
Anti-Suicide Bureau First "crisis center" established by The Salvation Army in 1906.
Anti-suicide contract See no suicide contract and alliance for safety.
Anxiolytics Medications that reduce anxiety.
Appropriate death Terminally ill individual's chosen manner of dying.
Assisted suicide Completion of suicide by a terminally ill or suffering individual with the aid of a physician or other clinician.
Assumptive world Griever's personal values and beliefs undermined or disrupted by her/his loss.
Asymptomatic Without symptoms or signs of disease or disorder.
Attempted suicide Unsuccessful, potentially lethal effort to complete suicide.
At-risk Subject to the possibility of suicide, or other harmful outcomes.
Autocide Use of a motor vehicle to complete suicide.
Auto-euthanasia Euphemism for suicide involving a suffering individual.
Autonomy Ethical principle of individual self-determination.
Autopsy Examination of a body to determine the cause of death and other medical information.
Availability Presence of a resource (e.g., support group) that may be needed by an individual or group.
Availability of means Accessibility to lethal means by a suicidal individual.

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