Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226463322 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North America only
E-book $18.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226463469 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North America only

Suicidal

Why We Kill Ourselves

Jesse Bering

Suicidal

Jesse Bering

272 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2018 
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226463322 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North America only
E-book $18.00 ISBN: 9780226463469 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North America only
For much of his thirties, Jesse Bering thought he was probably going to kill himself. He was a successful psychologist and writer, with books to his name and bylines in major magazines. But none of that mattered. The impulse to take his own life remained. At times it felt all but inescapable.
 
Bering survived. And in addition to relief, the fading of his suicidal thoughts brought curiosity. Where had they come from? Would they return? Is the suicidal impulse found in other animals? Or is our vulnerability to suicide a uniquely human evolutionary development? In Suicidal, Bering answers all these questions and more, taking us through the science and psychology of suicide, revealing its cognitive secrets and the subtle tricks our minds play on us when we’re easy emotional prey. Scientific studies, personal stories, and remarkable cross-species comparisons come together to help readers critically analyze their own doomsday thoughts while gaining broad insight into a problem that, tragically, will most likely touch all of us at some point in our lives. But while the subject is certainly a heavy one, Bering’s touch is light. Having been through this himself, he knows that sometimes the most effective response to our darkest moments is a gentle humor, one that, while not denying the seriousness of suffering, at the same time acknowledges our complicated, flawed, and yet precious existence.
 
Authoritative, accessible, personal, profound—there’s never been a book on suicide like this. It will help you understand yourself and your loved ones, and it will change the way you think about this most vexing of human problems.
Contents

1 The Call to Oblivion

2 Unlike the Scorpion Girt by Fire

3 Betting Odds

4 Hacking the Suicidal Mind

5 The Things She Told Lorraine

6 To Log Off This Mortal Coil

7 What Doesn’t Die

8 Gray Matter

Acknowledgments
Resources
Notes
Index

Review Quotes
Dan Savage
"Jesse Bering is the best science writer at work today."
 
Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine
"By the time you finish reading these sentences someone in the world will have committed suicide. Why do more than a million people a year kill themselves? To answer this question we need a brilliant research scientist, an insightful psychologist, and a sensitive but powerful writer who has seriously contemplated taking their own life. Jesse Bering fits all three criteria and the book you hold in your hands is a deeply moving narrative that cuts to the heart of the ultimate question any of us could ever ask: why should I live? Given what’s at stake in the topic, Suicidal may very well be the most important book you will ever read."
Paul Bloom, author of Against Empathy
"I'm not surprised that a book on suicide would be very personal, but I didn’t expect it to be so damn funny. It's also engaging, thoughtful, and sensitive--although Bering is certainly irreverent, there is a real appreciation of how painful and difficult this topic can be. This is a book for scholars and for a general audience, but it is also entirely suitable for people whose lives have been touched by the suicide of someone they loved."
Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn
"In Suicidal, Jesse Bering explores one of the most essential questions we all face: Why keep living? He doesn't claim to have found any easy answers, but his exploration is surprising, funny, touching, and deeply personal. Suicidal feels like a gift, and reading it reminded me that encounters with great books are reason enough, for now, to keep going."
Forbes
"I have yet to come away from reading one of [Bering's] essays and not feel considerably better informed than I was just minutes before."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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