Unlocking the Mystery of a Suicide
Edited by David Lester
Routledge – 2004 – 240 pages
Katie's Diary is a unique analysis of the diary left behind by a young woman who has committed suicide. As compared to suicide notes, which are typically brief, Katie's diary consists of five separate books, an opportunity to look into the mind of a suicide from a source of data that is extraordinarily rare.
Commenting on the diary are professionals in the fields of suicidology, linguistics, women's studies, Jungian analysis and voice therapy, among others.
Suicidal themes that prevail in her writing are discussed, as well as potential treatment methods in the hopes that the study will contribute to suicide prevention.
"Despite volumes of research on the topic, we are no nearer to understanding why individuals commit suicide than we were 40 years ago. Thus, the thoughtful readings and reactions to Katie's journal may serve to advance our understanding and thinking in this important area…I see this…as representing [the] leading edge of the field of suicidology that is timely and shows promise of becoming "standard reading" for suicidologists and other mental health clinicians." -- James Rogers, University of Akron
Preface. Introduction: The Study of Personal Documents - David Lester. Who is Katie?: David Lester. The Diary: The Last Month. Why did you kill yourself? - Silvia S. Canetto. What Does Her Language Tell Us? A Linguistic Analysis of Katie's Diary - James W. Pennebaker & Lori D. Stone. Thoughts of Katie: A Cognitive Perspective - Thomas E. Ellis. Katie: A Protocol Analysis of Her Diary - Antoon A. Leenaars. The Ophelia Complex - David Lester. Heart and Soul: Katie's Yearning for Well-being Amidst Chaos and Confusion - Robert Fournier. Not Waving but Drowning: A Jungian Perspective on Katie - James Hollis. The Treatment of Katie - Lisa Firestone. Final Thoughts: Did Writing a Diary Help or Harm Katie? David Lester