Thursday, September 10, 2009

Suicide Prevention Day

A couple of thoughts:

1. There are many who are killing themselves slowly, this is also a form of suicide in my opinion.
2. Many who complete suicide often tell others of their intention to do so beforehand. Please always take such statements seriously, and encourage immediate help.
3. If you are a treating physician, counselor, friend, family member or otherwise close to someone who has completed suicide, find someone to talk to about it.
4. They say there are two types of psychiatrists, those that have had a patient commit suicide and those that will have a patient commit suicide. For many of us, this is the ultimate sense of failure in our profession. That is sad, but understandable.
5. 1-800-273-TALK is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline


Anonymous said...

I know a few people, aside from myself, that have had a family member commit suicide. Every one of us are highly offended by your number 1 statement. There is a vast difference between not taking care of oneself and consequences leading to fatality and the very shocking act of suicide. VAST difference. Time ...being one of them

I also disagree with the statement about every patient that sees a psychiatrist being a potential for suicide. It will never ever be on the table for me after what I experienced.

I wouldn't do what my Dad did to me to anyone that I love. Period.

Doc said...

First, thanks for the reply. To clarify on your points:
You're absolutely correct that there is a vast difference between suicide and not taking good care of one's self. I am noting that there are some who drink or drug themselves to death or otherwise slowly kill themselves. These deaths are also due to illness, often depression, as similarly seen with suicide.
My statement about psychiatrists is only denoting that psychiatrists in their career will almost invariably have to experience a patient death by suicide. That is only to emphasize the vigilence of psychiatrists, therapists, etc. regarding screening and taking any suicidal ideation or attempts very seriously. And it is also to encourage them to have a mental plan in place to have colleagues to talk to if and when that occurs.
That is not to remotely suggest that all patients are potential suicides. Most psychiatric patients do not ever have suicide attempts, and any suggestions otherwise would be dangerous and wrong, as well as sadly further stigmatizing.
Thanks again, and I hope that makes those short points a bit clearer.

lkc aka PA cuz said...

i understand the statement about psychiatrists patients...Honestly this is the side of the doctor not patient. The Doctor has to be aware that each case can have that possibility..not assumed, but not blindsided either. Even those whom one may defininetly claim "not a possibility" has just never encountered that type or place of despair in their lives. The is a place of TOTAL despair, hopelessness and lack of self worth that can put anyone in that place, and a psychiatrist has to be aware of that in EVERY patient.
Thats part of the fulfillment in helping patients that the Dr.s go into their field help one raise out of that darkest pit of despair.

lkc aka Pa Cuz said...

as for item #1..I totally agree and tell my loved ones who smoke and excesively drink (ok alcoholics), and over eat this very idea. Immediate suicide is only quicker. Impending suicide just lets those who love you spend time with you while they watch you kill yourself!
There is NO excuse. We have too much medical information and knowledge in todays info world to be given anymore excuses.

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