This book addresses biopsychosocial and transcultural determinants of suicide by self-immolation, populations at risk throughout the world and prevention strategies specifically designed for young women in fragile environments. Self-immolation, the act of burning oneself as a means of suicide, is rare in high-income countries, and is usually a symbolic display of political protest among men that generally receives international media coverage. In contrast, in low- and-middle-income countries it is highly prevalent, primarily affects women, and may be one of the most common suicide methods in regions of Central and South Asia and parts of Africa. Psychiatric conditions, like adjustment disorders, traumatic stress disorders, and major depression, and family dynamics that include intimate partner violence, forced marriages, the threat of honor killings, and interpersonal family conflicts in a cultural context of war-related life events, poverty, forced migration and ethnic conflicts are important contributing factors. Written by over 40 academic psychiatrists from all continents, sociologists, and historians, the book covers topics such as region-specific cultural and historical factors associated with suicide; the role of religion and belief systems; marginalization, oppression, retraumatization and suicide risk; countertransference aspects of working in burn centers; responsible reporting and the media; and suicide prevention strategies to protect those at risk.
César A. Alfonso, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Universitas Indonesia. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Fellow of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, Academy of Consultation and Liaison Psychiatry, and New York Academy of Medicine. Professor Alfonso was born in La Habana, Cuba and spent formative years in Madrid and San Juan. He migrated to the USA to attend Yale University for undergraduate studies, followed by New York Medical College for medical school, psychiatry residency, fellowship training in consultation and liaison psychiatry and certification in psychoanalysis. He received formal training in music and studio art. His earlier research focused on consultation and liaison psychiatry, suicide prevention, bioethics, HIV psychiatry, human sexuality, and psycho-oncology. His recent work includes psychodynamic determinants of treatment adherence, the clinical care of persons with low vision and medical multi-morbidities, and the design and implementation of psychotherapy training programs worldwide. With support from the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) he piloted intensive psychotherapy training programs for psychiatrists in low- and middle- income countries. Professor Alfonso served as President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (2010-2012). He is currently Chair of the Psychotherapy Section of the WPA. He is the USA Chairperson for the World Association of Dynamic Psychiatry. He has published 75 articles, 17 book chapters, 3 edited monographs, and an edited book, Advances in Psychodynamic Psychiatry (2018; Guilford Press). He serves as Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry. He is the recipient of the Teichner Scholar Award twice, with visiting professorships in Northwell/Staten Island (2015-2016) and the University of Iowa (2018-2019). Dr. Alfonso has given over 200 international academic presentations in 25 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
Dr. Prabha S. Chandra, MD, FRCPsych, FAMS is a Professor of Psychiatry and the current Head of Department at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore. Dedicated to the cause of women’s mental health, she is currently the President Elect of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health and an executive member of the Marce International society for perinatal psychiatry. Professor Prabha Chandra has brought the field of perinatal psychiatry to the forefront in South Asia by starting the first integrated Mother Baby unit and outpatient perinatal psychiatry service in Bangalore at NIMHANS. She leads a team of young professionals in the field of perinatal psychiatry with her current active projects ranging from antenatal mental health and suicide in pregnancy, community cohort studies of mothers and infants using detailed mental health, mother infant interaction and infant measures, interventions for reducing second hand smoke exposure among pregnant women, and the biology of postpartum psychosis. She is also the principal investigator of Project MAHILA- an RCT on mobile phone intervention by nurses for rural women with HIV infection and depression in India. She has been the co-author for the WPA curriculum on violence against women and for the WPA position statement on perinatal psychiatry. In addition, she works actively in the fields of reproductive and sexual health among women, psycho-oncology, palliative care and ethics. Professor Prabha Chandra is also a keen teacher and has developed several innovative methods of training and assessment for psychiatry residents. She is published nearly 180 publications including several books. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences. She has been an NHS International Fellow and Consultant in Manchester, UK and a visiting professor at the University of Liverpool.
Professor Thomas G. Schulze studied medicine in Germany, the USA, and Catalonia. He trained as a psychiatrist and held positions in Germany (Bonn, Mannheim, Göttingen) and the USA (Chicago, Bethesda, Baltimore). Since 2014, he has held the position of Chair and Director of the Institute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics at the Ludwig-Maximilans-University of Munich (IPPG). He is also on Faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Schulze’s research focuses on genotype-phenotype relationship in psychiatric disorders. He coordinates a German-wide center grant on longitudinal psychosis research (www.kfo241.de ; www.PsyCourse.de ) and spearheads an international study on the genetic basis of response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder (www.ConLiGen.org ), comprising several research groups from Europe, the Americas, Asi
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