More Rants on Suicide
Have I mentioned how much I love Twitter? It brings me on the front lines of any suicide articles. I recently have two rants that I will discuss that I have read today concerning suicide and suicide prevention.
The first is a Washington Post article about a guy that wrote an email detailing his suicide, to multiple journalists. All he wanted was acknowledgement and validation of his work that he published in the 70s. What did these journalists do? NOTHING. Until it was too late. The author of the article asked “what was she supposed to do”? Answer: TALK TO THE PERSON! This guy waited several hours for a response before he jumped to his death. He was obviously waiting, desperately, for some kind of response to acknowledge his statements. And when he didn’t, he died. He died a needless death because these journalists didn’t take him seriously. The author states she got the email late, and he was in Japan, she was in the states, so went to sleep! Then when she woke up hours later, she decided to pursue the matter. In those precious hours, she could have responded with something, anything. All she had to do was hit reply. A one liner was, in my mind, all that was needed. It angers me that this guy was obviously in distress and was blatantly ignored. I hope this journalist learned her lesson. That suicide intentions of any kind are not to be ignored.
The second piece was about how psychiatrists deal with suicide. In the article, the author found it difficult to find someone to talk to about this. It was not talked about. Also in the article, it mentions her friend, who happened to be hospitalized for severe depression because she kept attempting suicide. Her friend had a therapist, that after she attempted, hung her out to dry. She didn’t want to treat her anymore. So now her friend is without outpatient care. She has not been able to find a therapist to deal with her suicidality. Because once you mention the “S” word, no one wants to deal with you. I have found this out myself. When my therapist permanently located to her current office 30 miles away from and my car broke down, permanently, I tried to find a therapist within a 5 mile radius of my house. I talked to 10 different therapists. ALL referred me to another therapist once they inquired about my suicidality. Because I had and was currently suicidal, they didn’t want anything to do with me. Then when I was able to find someone in my hometown, he was sweating bullets whenever I brought up my suicidality. How was I supposed to talk to him when it was obvious he was scared of losing me? I said fuck that and went back to my current therapist. We have phone conversations and I see her whenever I can borrow my sister’s car.
This article cited sources from the AAS and Dr. Paul Quinnett, two of my favorite sources. I commented on the article because it was dear to me. I know first hand the stigma around mental health professionals when a patient dies by suicide. I have read countless articles about it. It is a very difficult topic. And once a patient dies by suicide, it scars the practitioner for life. I have had many discussions with my therapist about what would she do if I died. She couldn’t fathom it, nor talk about it. I once brought her an article about what to do if I should die. She rejected it. And this is from someone who welcomes everything I bring her and hoards what I give her. I wanted her to know there were resources out there to help. She wanted no part of it. And this article highlighted that. Most professionals that lose a patient to suicide are alone, but they don’t need to be. As survivor resources that the AAS provides become more widely known, therapists are being helped by their peers and healing can occur.