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Mental Health in the War on TerrorCulture, Science, and Statecraft$
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Neil Aggarwal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166645

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166645.001.0001

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Depictions of Suicide Bombers in the Mental Health Scholarship

Depictions of Suicide Bombers in the Mental Health Scholarship

(p.107) 5 Depictions of Suicide Bombers in the Mental Health Scholarship
Mental Health in the War on Terror

Neil Krishan Aggarwal

Columbia University Press

This chapter provides various psychoanalyses regarding the motive of suicide bombers in committing terrorism. Certain mental health authors link suicide bombing to psychopathology. Donatella Marazziti hypothesizes that suicide bombers suffer from multiple pathologies, claiming that suicide bombers might conceivably be affected by dual personality disorder, or by complex personality disorders shaped by specific contexts. In addition, David Lester speculates on the possible role of traumatic events and post-traumatic stress disorder in some of the suicide bombers, as well as factors such as the lack of hope for a happy future and concerns about becoming a burden and bringing shame to their families. On the other hand, Emad Salib regards suicide bombing as a shared delusion (Folie partagée) that arises when many recipients are willing to share such beliefs.

Keywords:   suicide bombers, terrorism, psychopathology, Emad Salib, Donatella Marazziti, dual personality disorder, David Lester

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