Psychache , a neologism coined by suicidologist Edwin Shneidman,1 is unbearable psychological pain—hurt, anguish, soreness, and aching. Shneidman theorized that unresolved psychache results in suicidal behavior. In almost every case of suicide, psychache is the cause. Psychache stems from thwarted or distorted psychological needs . . . every suicidal act reflects some specific unfulfilled psychological need.1
Edwin Shneidman is an old man, and death is often on his mind. But then, it always has been. Only now it's personal, and like many people of his age, Shneidman is not ready.
I invoke the name of Edwin Shneidman almost every time I speak publicly about suicide–which is quite often–and in fact have saved a special place for him in the midst of a particular section of the (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) workshop I’ve delivered dozens of times in the past three years.