The Psyche-Ache

Dr. Edwin S. Schneidman

Dr. Edwin S. Schneidman


by Fredric Matteson - CCT Founder

The idea of psyche-ache is from one of the founding fathers of suicidology in the US,  Edwin S. Shneidman, who died in 2009 at age 90.

Psycheache was Shneidman’s core concept to explain suicide and its underlying cause.*

Shneidman himself lamented how the concept was being lost by the prevalent medicalisation of suicide by psychiatry. He did not equate “being suicidal” as “being depressed.”

The original meaning of the word psyche is soul – so psycheache means aching soul, or a soul in pain.

* CCT posits that the “psychache” is itself a symptom of the bifurcated state the suicidal person is in.