Public Suicide Pact
May 21, 2014
By: Michael G.
Conner, Psy.D, Clinical, Medical & Family Psychologist
There are three factors at work in a public suicide pact.
- A public suicide act is intended to inflict harm and to punish others.
- The suicidal act is way to end a painful emotional problem. Some people are in so much emotional pain that they become self
destructive to change how they feel.
- Suicide is a choice during circumstances in which
the people involved can see no
alternative or important choices are being taken away.
Less common but related factors are:
- The impulsive suicidal act is a means to avoid consequences for some
- The suicidal act is the result of strange and bizarre beliefs that
are caused by an untreated mental illness or a severe medical problem. In this case
one or more people in the pact have a mental illness or medical problem.
The following is the dynamic of a suicide pact:
- These people are in the midst of severely painful emotional problems
and turmoil. There is a severe depression in addition to other psychological
- People like this find each other and try to support each other in
living. A person in misery can appreciate another person's misery.
- They discuss their suicidal thoughts and feelings openly with each
- Suicide becomes a little easier and less frightening.
- Efforts to help each other fails and efforts to get help from others
fall on deaf ears.
- At one time these people encouraged each other to live.
- Eventually they lose hope.
- The essential dynamic of a suicide pact is that the pain and fear of
living becomes worse than the fear of dying.
- Suicide is not an easy decision. Nobody wants to die alone.
- A suicide plan that involve a public display develops out of a
motivation to give death a sense of purpose and meaning.
- A public suicide like this is intended to send a message, inflict
emotional harm and to punish others.
- People who tried to support each other in life now support and
encourage each other to support each other in suicide
Copyright 1999 - 2008, Michael G. Conner