J Korean Med Assoc.  2012 Apr;55(4):329-334. 10.5124/jkma.2012.55.4.329.

Why do suicide and depression occur?

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hypyc@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea.


As suicide deaths have been rapidly increasing among the Korean people, the clinical conditions associated with suicide including major depressive disorder (MDD) have also been in the public eye for decades. Thus we discuss the relationship between suicide and depression from the psychosocial perspective. Because the introjected aggression or hostility may be essential psychodynamic factors in suicide and depression, the clinical psychiatrist's or psychotherapist's empathy may be the important psychotherapeutic method in the recovery of object relationships or relieving suicidal patients' self-destructive tendencies. Although various and diverse psychological features have been suggested as the predictive factors of suicide, they have not yet been demonstrated by any statistical models. Psychiatrists should be aware that suicide or suicidal behaviors might be strongly associated with sociocultural background in Korea. Further research may be needed in the area of the relationship among suicide, depression, and sociocultural correlates.


Depression; Suicide; Hostility; Empathy; Acculturation
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