Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-fnprw Total loading time: 0.211 Render date: 2022-08-18T04:32:54.012Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Psychiatric aspects of railway fatalities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2009

R. L. Symonds*
Affiliation:
Maidstone Hospital, Maidstone, Kent
*
1Address for correspondence: Dr R. L. Symonds, The Maidstone Hospital (Psychiatric Wing), Maidstone, Kent ME16 9AP.

Synopsis

National statistics for railway fatalities in England and Wales show a reduction of train crashes and a fluctuating level of deaths, of which an increasing proportion is from suicide. A closer examination of a two-year sample from the South of England revealed a large proportion of probable suicides and a small proportion of pure accidents. The remainder appeared to have medical, mainly psychiatric, contributions to their death, of which alcohol was an important factor in single young men. Rail suicides appear to be younger, the men less often married, the women more often married, and both sexes less often widowed than other suicides. They included more cases of major psychosis and neurosis, but fewer and less severe alcoholics. Characteristic patterns of this method of suicide are described with examples. Hypotheses to explain the choice of method suggest that it is not related to either volume of traffic, or residence in a rail-dense area or in an area with a high suicide rate, or the proximity of a psychiatric hospital.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1985

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Barraclough, B., Bunch, J., Nelson, B. & Sainsbury, P. (1974). A hundred cases of suicide. British Journal of Psychiatry 125, 355373.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Capstick, A. (1960). The methods of suicide. Medico-Legal Journal 28, 3338.Google Scholar
Department of Transport (1980). Railway Accidents – A Report on the Safety Record of the Railways in Great Britain in 1979. HMSO: London.Google Scholar
Gabriel, J. (1983). Epidemiology of suicide in Southern Greece. Presented at World Congress of Psychiatry, Vienna.Google Scholar
Guggenheim, F. C. & Weisman, A. D. (1972). Suicide in the subway. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 155, 404409.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ovenstone, K. (1973). Psychiatric approach to the diagnosis of suicide. British Journal of Psychiatry 123, 16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Read, C. S. (1936). The problem of suicide. British Medical Journal i, 631634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sims, A. C. & O'Brien, K. (1979). Autokatabalesis – mentally ill people who jump from buildings. Medicine, Science and Law 19 (3), 195198.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thurston, G. (1958). Coroners Practice. Butterworth: London.Google Scholar
30
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Psychiatric aspects of railway fatalities
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Psychiatric aspects of railway fatalities
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Psychiatric aspects of railway fatalities
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *