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Thread: Suicide

  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default Suicide

    This weekend one of my coworkers committed suicide. Around this time last year we also had a coworker commit suicide. We are a very small company so everyone knows these folks very well.

    On this occasion the man did not come to work and three of his friends went to his house and found him. One was a very sensitive ISTJ woman I work with.

    Their pain of course endlessly echos around inside of me, combined with guilt at what I could have done. Perhaps just being his friend, saying hi, letting him know he was not alone?

    Why do people feel so alone that they feel suicide is the only choice?

    What can you do to help them, what signs can you watch for?

    What can a company do to help prevent this in the future with respect to HR initiatives?

  2. #2

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    I dont know what a company could do, I'm unsure what they should do.

    There are obvious things, it helps if there are clear boundaries of responsibility, accountability and merit in any workplace. Bad middle managers or colleagues will maximise their income, work leave, training opportunities, prestige even and minimise their responsibility or workload through delegation or office politics. Those are bad things, signs of a broken workplace and it could be more than simple dynamics, it could be a structural problem. I'm not talking about those things though, any business should have those things in mind anyway.

    In some respects I would say the same about you yourself, I'm not sure that people should be able to expect others to be responsible for their own emotional self-regulation. Particularly if they are strangers or there is a purely business relationship between you and them. I'm not sure individuals, such as yourself, should feel guilt or anxiety about not intervening with others to help.

    Feelings of loss are to be expected, particularly if you were close, likewise sympathy or empathy because as humans we have an imagination and can put ourselves in the position or predicament of others. However beyond a certain point it will become self-injurious and if you cant take care of yourself first and foremost you cant take care of anyone else after that (if you believe that you should).

    Personally, by reason of my beliefs, I'm life affirming and try to consciously be so in all my interaction with others but what I've found is most important over the years is to be so with myself also. If you've got a strong emotional competence, social competence and develop a capacity for reflection and insight then not only will you be well yourself others can model your behaviour, even when you're not consciously doing it, you'll be helping others.

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Having dealt with this, pardon my expression, shit. I can say that the last thing you want to do is trying to figure out how you can influence and stop people from doing what they do. It's an endless pit. I am now of opinion that some people just kill themselves, and even though that's idiotic and stupid, it's ultimately their right and thus deserve no pity for doing what they believe is right. As harsh as it sounds, best to forget about them and just move on like it never happened. Because that's about as much as they deserve.

    Thinking about how it could be prevented gets you nowhere. You'll keep remembering little things and blame yourself for never seeing it and never recognizing it. And it just gets worse and worse. You'll start blaming yourself for their deaths, thinking.. No, knowing you could have prevented it. I've been there for a few years, and tell you know, don't go there. There's no solution, no absolute truth, you couldn't have prevented it, and you're not to blame.

    Best way to deal with it, is not to deal with it at all.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4

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    I think you have to deal with, at least processing the event.

    Although personal responsibility is an objective truth and reality, someone who has died by their own hand is responsible for their death, no one else is.

    At the very most others are responsible for a kind word etc. although who is to say that would have prevented it? Maybe it would and maybe it wouldnt have, "what if" isnt a good game to play with either the past or future.

    Now, after the fact, after the event those left behind are responsible for how the event effects them, will they experience vacarious trauma, if they do how will they respond to it and will it become all consuming or not.

    Suicide is always a permanent solution to a temporary problem, when it happens its tragic but it shouldnt become an outbreak or a rash which spreads to others behaving likewise.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    If he had three friends who cared enough to go looking for him (including a coworker) then he wasn't doing too badly in the friends department. So I doubt one more friend would've made much of a difference, unless you managed to get him to open up somehow. Any idea on his type? I'm guessing you didn't know him all that well personally.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sofmarhof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Puppy View Post
    What can a company do to help prevent this in the future with respect to HR initiatives?
    No idea. I go to NYU, which has a reputation for lots of student suicides. (Statistically, it has a lower suicide rate than the country, but it's a big school). There was one this semester, and we got an email from the president that was basically trying to say "It's not our fault!" Horrible, insensitive move. At one point he said "NYU is a close-knit community" which, in addition to being a blatant lie, was basically saying that if the kid felt alone it was his own fault. So, that's how not to react to a suicide. But I don't know how to prevent them. Except for throwing antidepressants at everyone, which is what NYU's strategy seems to be.

  7. #7
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    People commit suicide A LOT around the holidays. I think it's a combo of SADD (seasonal depression from less light and more cold, etc.) and the psychological implications of the holidays...brings up childhood memories, people remember family issues, feel more alone if they don't have anyone.

    I'm sorry.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    It turned out he and the ISTJ were dating.

    I dont feel as though I personally could have stopped this or feel massive guilt about his death.

    From a prevention perspective, However something innate inside of him pushed him to feel he was utterly alone and of no value, thus should depart.

    My ENTP and I argued for awhile. We framed the argument in an Fe/Fi context as it has been a topic of late. I think he was an Fi, perhaps an ISTJ, as he would respond to my Fi overtures.

    She asked "can you not understand that you are always connected to other people that care?" Uh. no.

    I explained to her that Fi can be a very intense single pointed connection. We connect very sparsely as it is such a sensitive connection. When severed, it is excrutiating and leaves one feeling profoundly alone. I think for her, Fe is a more open, less vulnerable way to interface, thus she never feels utterly isolated?

  9. #9
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Puppy View Post
    This weekend one of my coworkers committed suicide. Around this time last year we also had a coworker commit suicide. We are a very small company (...)
    Two suicides in one year in one small company? Yikes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member _Violence_'s Avatar
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    I believe suicide is most likely to occur when someone TRULY BELIEVES they have nothing else to live for; specifically that happiness is an unattainable goal anymore for them.

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