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Suicide defies our universal instinct for self-preservation. It cuts through the core of our beliefs, leaving a trail of pain, emotional overflow, broken relationships, and frequently, a long list of unanswered questions.


What makes this book unique is that the author draws on extensive clinical evidence and personal stories of individuals who attempted suicide, families who lost loved ones, authors, and renowned specialists. It offers a powerful insight into the suicidal mind, comfort, and solace to survivors, practical tips on how to help those who are at risk, and valuable guidance to mental health professionals.


Paula Fontenelle was a noted journalist when her father took his own life, and it is from a personal, as well as a professional point of view that she wrote this honest, insightful book. At first, she wanted to understand what had led her father to suicide, but after hearing heart-wrenching testimonials from people touched by self-inflicted death, she embarked on a journey to address the questions that haunt the lives of more than 800,000 people worldwide, every year.

The first edition of this book was a finalist of “Prêmio Jabuti,” the Brazilian national book prize, and has been a leading reference in that country.

Recommended Books

If you want to watch my book reviews, go to my Youtube channel "Understand Suicide."

Reading about other people's experiences can foster a sense of comfort and understanding. It certainly helped me when I was searching for answers about my father's suicide, so I decided to share a list of insightful books that guided me through my personal journey. Some are autobiographical and others have been written by specialists. Nonetheless, they provide crucial information about the subject.


If you have book suggestions, please send me through my contact page. 



  1. Darkness visible: a memoir of madness - William Styron

  2. Night falls fast: understanding suicide - Kay Redfield Jamison

  3. An unquiet mind: a memoir of moods and madness - Kay Redfield Jamison

  4. Noonday demon: an atlas of depression. Andrew Solomon

  5. No time to say good-bye - Carla Fine

  6. A grief observed: C. S. Lewis

  7. Grieving a suicide: a loved one's search for comfort, answers, and hope - Albert H. Hsu

  8. Dying to be free: a healing guide for families after a suicide - Beverly cobain and Jean Larch

  9. No one cares about crazy people  Ron Powers

  10. Notes from the everlost: a field guide to grief - Kate Inglis

  11. Out came the sun: overcoming the legacy of mental illness, addiction, and suicide in my family - Mariel Hemingway

  12. A new mourning: discovering the gifts in grief - Georgena Eggleston 

  13. A matter of death and life - Irvin D. Yalom


  1. Why people die by suicide - Thomas Joiner

  2. Treating suicidal clients & self-harm behaviors: assessments, worksheets & guides for interventions and long-term care - Meagan Houston

  3. The suicidal mind - Edwin Shneidman

  4. Definition of suicide - Edwin Shneidman

  5. Suicide: a study in sociology - ​Ëmile Durkheim

  6. The enigma of suicide - George Howe Colt

  7. Why suicide?: questions and answers about suicide, suicide prevention, and coping with the suicide of someone you know - Eric Marcus

  8. Survivors of suicide - Rita Robinson

  9. Helping the suicidal person - Stacey Freedenthal

  10. Thriving after trauma: stories of living and healing - Shari Botwin

  11. Running on empty: Overcome your childhood emotional neglect - Jonice Webb, PhD. 


  1. Anxiety: the missing stage of grief - Claire Bidwell Smith

  2. Option B: facing adversity, building resilience, and finding Joy - Sheryl Sandberg

  3. Grief works: stories of life, death and surviving - Julia Samuel

  4. What made Maddy run: the secret struggles and tragic death of an all-American teen - Kate Fagan

  5. What happened to you? Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing - Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey

  6. Together: The healing power of human connection in a sometimes lonely world - Vivek H. Murthy, MD.

  7. Shame No More: A Framework for Healing Through Grace - Richard Shaw

My favorite Podcasts