Time, trauma, and the brain: How suicide came to have no significant precipitating event

AHP readers may be interested in a new piece in Science in Context: “Time, trauma, and the brain: How suicide came to have no significant precipitating event,” by Stephanie Lloyd and Alexandre Larivée. Abstract:

In this article, we trace shifting narratives of trauma within psychiatric, neuroscience, and environmental epigenetics research. We argue that two contemporary narratives of trauma – each of which concerns questions of time and psychopathology, of the past invading the present – had to be stabilized in order for environmental epigenetics models of suicide risk to be posited. Through an examination of these narratives, we consider how early trauma came to be understood as playing an etiologically significant role in the development of suicide risk. Suicide, in these models, has come to be seen as a behavior that has no significant precipitating event, but rather an exceptional precipitating neurochemical state, whose origins are identified in experiences of early traumatic events. We suggest that this is a part of a broader move within contemporary neurosciences and biopsychiatry to see life as post: seeing life as specific form of post-traumatic subjectivity.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.

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