In his new theory of suicidal behavior, Dr. Thomas Joiner proposes three factors that mark teens most at risk of death: the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; the sense of isolation; and, perhaps chillingly, the learned ability to hurt oneself. He tests the theory against diverse facts taken from clinical anecdotes, history, literature, popular culture, anthropology, epidemiology, genetics, and neurobiology facts about suicide rates among adolescents; white and African-American men; anorexics, athletes; members of cults, sports fans, and citizens of nations in crisis.

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