Mental Pain Among Female Suicide Attempt Survivors in Israel: An Exploratory Qualitative Study

Dorit Segal-Engelchin, Noa Kfir-Levin, Shai B. Neustaedter, Julia Mirsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The experience of mental pain among female suicide attempt survivors is an under-represented topic in suicide research. The present exploratory study examined the mental pain experience among a culturally diverse sample of four female suicide attempt survivors using in-depth interviews. The findings reveal several characteristic of the mental pain experience including despair, hopelessness, and emptiness. Although the participants came from multi-cultural backgrounds and suffered from different psychiatric disorders, similarities were found in the manner in which they described their pain. Results suggest unique characteristics of mental pain are shared across cultures and that mental pain may be distinguished from the psychiatric symptoms of mental disorders. This study evidences the importance of listening to life stories to gain understanding of the mental pain experience and to identify resilience factors that are present in the lives of female suicide attempt survivors interviewed. Implications for treatment intervention and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-434
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2015


  • Female suicide survivors
  • Mental pain
  • Qualitative study
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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