How does a therapist react if a patient kills themself?

  • Welcome to Sanctioned Suicide, a pro-choice forum for the discussion of mental illness, suicide, and the moral implications of the act itself. This is not a pro-suicide site. We do not encourage or aid suicide, and the information offered is for educational purposes only. Read our rules and FAQ for more information. We also offer a recovery subforum if you wish to get support.

    You can close this box by clicking the top right "X".

selkie

selkie

on some faraway beach
Jan 22, 2020
45
81
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I can't find anything on this online that doesn't sound guilt-trippy (noooo don't do it they will be so saaaad ;-;;-;;-; ).
I'm asking because I'm in outpatient treatment right now and I plan to kill myself next month. I'm assuming my therapist won't care much because he probably had to deal with patients who killed themselves in the past who were more likeable than me lol. Also he probably wouldn't have chosen his job if he would empathize too much with other people's pain.
And honestly it kind of bothers me. I'd rather be remembered by nobody rather than people who will just brush it off then continue with their lives. Makes me want to postpone my suicide for a few months until I'm out of treatment. (Also no I don't want your goddamn hugs emoji. Please spare me.)

What do you think therapists/social workers/psych nurses, etc. feel when a patient kills themself?
 
Sadddd

Sadddd

How did I end up here
Jan 26, 2020
57
65
i've thought the same but i wonder if they even find out. if i stopped going to the gp or didn't reply to the psyche letters i doubt they would chase up (i'm in the UK so this is the NHS not private). i've had some private counselling and after i told him i needed a break of a few weeks he didn't follow up so i guess they are use to it
 
Darkhaven

Darkhaven

Scheduled for Deletion
May 19, 2019
933
2,324
"Oh damnit! I thought i could drain money from this one for the next 3 to 4 years, at least.
Gotta find another one fast! Bought a benz last month and i need the money to pay the loan!
It was a lost case from the beggining, i just couldn't tell him that because.... you know, it would be unethical to turn down a client in such a desperate need of help..."
 
Last edited:
selkie

selkie

on some faraway beach
Jan 22, 2020
45
81
Oh damnit! I thought i could drain money from this one for the next 3 to 4 years, at least.
Gotta find another one fast! Bought a benz last month and i need the money to pay the loan!
:haha:
Fortunately for him the hospital I'm at has a really long waiting list so when I'm gone there will be a new patient right at his doorstep.
 
rue89

rue89

Veteran
Feb 10, 2020
111
440
i've thought the same but i wonder if they even find out. if i stopped going to the gp or didn't reply to the psyche letters i doubt they would chase up (i'm in the UK so this is the NHS not private). i've had some private counselling and after i told him i needed a break of a few weeks he didn't follow up so i guess they are use to it
They might happen to see your obituary. Other than that I don't know any other way they'd find out. If they did find out I doubt they'd really care.
 
TimeToBiteTheDust

TimeToBiteTheDust

If you can't fix what's broken you'll go insane.
Nov 7, 2019
1,481
3,490
There are therapists that actually care in spite of money. I guess they would feel guilty and ashamed. I read that some therapists whose patients had ctbed couldn't sleep well for years and had some kind of trauma.
 
PrettyNoose

PrettyNoose

is pretty pain
Mar 1, 2020
218
936
I don't know, I imagine it depends on the individual therapist. I would think that anyone getting into such a field would understand that not everyone can be saved. They can be as skilled as can be, but at the end of the day words can only do so much. They can't change many of the shitty things about the world and existence as a whole that ultimately drives a lot of people to suicide.
 
UpandDownPrincess

UpandDownPrincess

Specialist
Dec 31, 2019
382
739
The reactions are as varied as the therapists behind them. It's not much of an answer, but it's the truth.

Since death notices are public records, a quick Google search can help a practitioner find out someone has ctb'ed. They may also be contacted by persons conducting an inquest. If you ghost them, he or she may do a quick online search to check on you, especially if you are known to be suicidal.

My friends who are physicians (all kinds) really struggle with patient deaths - even those who work in emergency medicine, where it might be expected. When your therapist is really working hard to help you, that's their version of pounding on your chest.

I will add that some people are assholes, and some therapists are, too. They may treat your suicide like just another fish that got away. In that case, they weren't helping anyway, so who cares?
 
thepolarbear

thepolarbear

'til we die
Dec 7, 2019
59
137
My friends who are physicians (all kinds) really struggle with patient deaths - even those who work in emergency medicine, where it might be expected. When your therapist is really working hard to help you, that's their version of pounding on your chest.

I will add that some people are assholes, and some therapists are, too. They may treat your suicide like just another fish that got away. In that case, they weren't helping anyway, so who cares?
My neighbor is a doctor and he mocks his patients 24/7 on his facebook. Some doctors do care. Some are shit excuses for human beings.
 
T

TheTraveller

Member
Mar 23, 2020
43
99
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I can't find anything on this online that doesn't sound guilt-trippy (noooo don't do it they will be so saaaad ;-;;-;;-; ).
I'm asking because I'm in outpatient treatment right now and I plan to kill myself next month. I'm assuming my therapist won't care much because he probably had to deal with patients who killed themselves in the past who were more likeable than me lol. Also he probably wouldn't have chosen his job if he would empathize too much with other people's pain.
And honestly it kind of bothers me. I'd rather be remembered by nobody rather than people who will just brush it off then continue with their lives. Makes me want to postpone my suicide for a few months until I'm out of treatment. (Also no I don't want your goddamn hugs emoji. Please spare me.)

What do you think therapists/social workers/psych nurses, etc. feel when a patient kills themself?
I can answer how I felt when my clients liked themselves(There has been more then one over the years) the procedure after depended on the country and context and I can compare to the friends. If I answered it would have to be my one truth and would not want to be attacked. I"m on both sides of this fence and I can say in my field that I was prochoice for suicide did not go over all (attacked and reprimanded) you are made to follow their mandate usually of both organization and your professional body.
 
  • Like
Reactions: autumnal
S

Somebodylied

Member
Feb 18, 2020
25
16
I've had some cold doctors in the past, one time someone keyed a word on my car , and when I told my therapist, she said "maybe you did it yourself ". I'm thinking to myself why would I key my own car, and how did you become a therapist. Then i told my mom, and she said the same thing the therapist said. I knew then I was being gaslighted and have been contemplating ctb ever since.
 
T

TheTraveller

Member
Mar 23, 2020
43
99
I had I psychiatrist that I went to for PTSD for my treatment from medical community (Lyme disease isn't real?) who try to call his son who also a doc to see if lyme was really in front of me. I actually had to say to him "if you do that you are going to traumatize me further", he looked at me like I slapped him in the face... then he said I had something I didn't. I left crying and wanted to .... well can't write that but I wanted to do something and it wasn't to harm myself lets say that.
 
Suez

Suez

Wise
Feb 27, 2020
259
356
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I can't find anything on this online that doesn't sound guilt-trippy (noooo don't do it they will be so saaaad ;-;;-;;-; ).
I'm asking because I'm in outpatient treatment right now and I plan to kill myself next month. I'm assuming my therapist won't care much because he probably had to deal with patients who killed themselves in the past who were more likeable than me lol. Also he probably wouldn't have chosen his job if he would empathize too much with other people's pain.
And honestly it kind of bothers me. I'd rather be remembered by nobody rather than people who will just brush it off then continue with their lives. Makes me want to postpone my suicide for a few months until I'm out of treatment. (Also no I don't want your goddamn hugs emoji. Please spare me.)

What do you think therapists/social workers/psych nurses, etc. feel when a patient kills themself?
Wow a friend of mine asked me almost the identical thing before she took an overdose a few mnths back. I know it was important to her how her therapist saw her, you know. It mattered to her that her therapist cared about her, like cared about her more than his other clients. I was kinda confused at the time as to what she was actually trying to ask me but i remember her telling me that she finds herself sometimes exaggerating things in therapy because she like the attention she got from her therapist. She liked how it felt when he felt sad for her and paid her attention because of it. It didnt sound right to me, like why would you lie or exaggerate things so your therapist will pay attention to you? Over the years id watched her go in & out of therapy and it seemed to me she was getting worse, so i said to her i thought it would be gd to come clean with her therapist how she was feeling & her need for attention from him, as i thought something wasnt working for her, if she wasnt being honest then how cud she get the help she really needed to get better? She didnt like this at all. Hearing you talk about your therapist, its clear its really important to you that they feel something for you, more than other clients. and as you wonder how they would feel if you killed yourself, those were exactly my friends words before she took an overdose that night. I didnt know it at the time, but my friend had engineered her overdose so that her therapist would be the one to find her. Her need for attention from her therapist was really out of control, i didnt realise just how bad it was until afterwards, when her therapist spoke with me and it was then we all put two and two together. Now shes getting the help she really needs. I didnt mean to go on, but your words were just like listening to conversations with my friend. Hopefully just coincidence and you dont feel the need for that kind of attention.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moonsafari
LonelySoul

LonelySoul

Member
Mar 13, 2020
44
68
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I can't find anything on this online that doesn't sound guilt-trippy (noooo don't do it they will be so saaaad ;-;;-;;-; ).
I'm asking because I'm in outpatient treatment right now and I plan to kill myself next month. I'm assuming my therapist won't care much because he probably had to deal with patients who killed themselves in the past who were more likeable than me lol. Also he probably wouldn't have chosen his job if he would empathize too much with other people's pain.
And honestly it kind of bothers me. I'd rather be remembered by nobody rather than people who will just brush it off then continue with their lives. Makes me want to postpone my suicide for a few months until I'm out of treatment. (Also no I don't want your goddamn hugs emoji. Please spare me.)

What do you think therapists/social workers/psych nurses, etc. feel when a patient kills themself?
I would think that from a human perspective they would feel sadness for their patient and probably that they had failed their job in some way. Very likely to question themselves and maybe not overly surprised, given the circumstances. Unless your therapist has a heart of stone, I reckon they would definitely feel something.
 
C

cazwiz

Member
Feb 25, 2020
25
27
I've had some cold doctors in the past, one time someone keyed a word on my car , and when I told my therapist, she said "maybe you did it yourself ". I'm thinking to myself why would I key my own car, and how did you become a therapist. Then i told my mom, and she said the same thing the therapist said. I knew then I was being gaslighted and have been contemplating ctb ever since.
Wow, gas-lighted by your therapist. That is harsh
 
  • Like
Reactions: SimplyTopHat
I

I’mDone

Wise
Mar 22, 2020
247
399
I don't know, I imagine it depends on the individual therapist. I would think that anyone getting into such a field would understand that not everyone can be saved. They can be as skilled as can be, but at the end of the day words can only do so much. They can't change many of the shitty things about the world and existence as a whole that ultimately drives a lot of people to suicide.
Hit the nail on the head! Therapists are trained to have empathy, but to stay objective. Good ones will identify with clients’ pain, empathise with their suffering but remain emotionally uninvolved.

Additionally, all practising therapists have supervision sessions. They themselves attend weekly or monthly sessions with more senior therapists in order to have an objective third party observing and commenting on the therapist’s own mental and emotional state.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SimplyTopHat
D

Depressedtoolong

Member
Mar 30, 2020
12
19
Actually, it's very common. Multiple therapists have gaslighted me to varying degrees. One even withheld a diagnosis from me for 18 months and I only found out after accessing my records. Therapists are often very damaged people who like to play God.
 
usernameNotFound

usernameNotFound

Member
Feb 2, 2019
44
128
I overheard a couple of nurses talking about how they just stopped caring about people after awhile. They still get the job done and they do it well, but they don't feel bad about it anymore.

So, it might be that professionals don't take it too hard after a certain number of patients. May depend on how new they are.
 
departing

departing

Illuminated
Jul 5, 2019
1,495
588
A therapist once told me that a patient committing suicide results in a lot of paperwork. I'm not sure if the comment was sincere or an attempt to guilt me out of committing suicide. I have a feeling it was the latter. They'd have to be aware that I committed suicide and that I wasn't just taking a break from therapy.
 
Suez

Suez

Wise
Feb 27, 2020
259
356
Actually, it's very common. Multiple therapists have gaslighted me to varying degrees. One even withheld a diagnosis from me for 18 months and I only found out after accessing my records. Therapists are often very damaged people who like to play God.
Hey what does gaslighting someone mean? Its not a term ive heard of. I think it is a US term right?
 
Sensei

Sensei

Illuminated
Nov 4, 2019
1,674
3,442
I think it depends on the system, especially if it's money-driven or not. Where I live, they definitely care and can be traumatized by a suicide.
 
D

Depressedtoolong

Member
Mar 30, 2020
12
19
Hey what does gaslighting someone mean? Its not a term ive heard of. I think it is a US term right?
It means manipulating someone into doubting their own sanity. I've had therapists who have said and done things, then later denied it, and tried to pass it off as being part of my mental illness. Therapists and their professional bodies try to dismiss this as 'a few bad apples' being present, but in reality many therapists are simply sociopaths who love being seen as an expert and the power they have over their clients. That's not to say there aren't some good (or at least, well meaning) ones, but there are far more bad ones than the profession would care to admit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: littlemisssunshine
k75

k75

L'appel du Vide
Jun 27, 2019
1,899
3,845
There are therapists that actually care in spite of money. I guess they would feel guilty and ashamed. I read that some therapists whose patients had ctbed couldn't sleep well for years and had some kind of trauma.
This.

Therapists are human, just like the rest of us. They feel empathy, too. Some are shitty and treat their clients like just another piece of work, but others actually invest themselves in your care. I read an article on the subject awhile back that was saying it does take a toll on them. They interviewed doctors and therapists about how they felt on the subject.

My last therapist actually hugged me after our last appointment and gave me a super sweet goodbye card. That was a first for me, but it proved I wasn't just work to her. I know it would have hurt her if she'd found out I died and she wasn't able to help.

That said, there's a good chance they would never know you did it. I believe privacy laws would prevent them from being notified. There's no automatic system in place for that. To all your doctors and therapists/psychiatrists, it would just look like you stopped going to appointments. The only way they'd find out is if they called to reschedule and someone in your household told them or if they happened to read an obituary or something along those lines.
 
  • Like
Reactions: enjolras
Suez

Suez

Wise
Feb 27, 2020
259
356
It means manipulating someone into doubting their own sanity. I've had therapists who have said and done things, then later denied it, and tried to pass it off as being part of my mental illness. Therapists and their professional bodies try to dismiss this as 'a few bad apples' being present, but in reality many therapists are simply sociopaths who love being seen as an expert and the power they have over their clients. That's not to say there aren't some good (or at least, well meaning) ones, but there are far more bad ones than the profession would care to admit.
OMG, that absolutely describes my psychiatrist. there was a report that had been written about me and it was really important to me that my Psychiatrist read it. He said that in order to read it he would need my written permission. I was in a session with him at the time and so took out a note pad to write the letter and he said no it needs to be a formal letter. So the next day i dropped off a letter to his reception in an envelope with his name on it. Never heard anything from him. I had to wait 3mnths to see him again, so was eager to hear what he had to say. So i go to my appt and i asked him about the report that he read and he said, you need to write me a formal letter giving him permission. Confused, I looked at him & said yes i know that what you said and i wrote a letter and dropped it off after our session 3mnths ago. He said he didnt get it. So the very next day i wrote another letter and again took it to his reception. I ask the receptionist to make sure that he got it. I had to wait another 3mnths. Without going into details, that he read this report within a certain time was very impt. Anyway i turned up for my next appt and fuck me he said he didnt get the 2nd letter that i wrote????? He looked at me like i was an imbecile for not understanding him. He spoke to me like i didnt get it. He spelt it out to me again like i was a child,that he needed permission to read it etc I dont think he believed me for a second that i had written two notes now . I wrote a third letter and this time when i went into the office, i made sure to give it to my caseworker (she sits in on meetings with my psychiatrist). So my next appt is in about 5 weeks. If he says he didnt get the third letter im going to pick up a chair and wrap it around his head. Honestly, is he fucking with me or as you say in the US Gaslighting me?
 
k75

k75

L'appel du Vide
Jun 27, 2019
1,899
3,845
OMG, that absolutely describes my psychiatrist. there was a report that had been written about me and it was really important to me that my Psychiatrist read it. He said that in order to read it he would need my written permission. I was in a session with him at the time and so took out a note pad to write the letter and he said no it needs to be a formal letter. So the next day i dropped off a letter to his reception in an envelope with his name on it. Never heard anything from him. I had to wait 3mnths to see him again, so was eager to hear what he had to say. So i go to my appt and i asked him about the report that he read and he said, you need to write me a formal letter giving him permission. Confused, I looked at him & said yes i know that what you said and i wrote a letter and dropped it off after our session 3mnths ago. He said he didnt get it. So the very next day i wrote another letter and again took it to his reception. I ask the receptionist to make sure that he got it. I had to wait another 3mnths. Without going into details, that he read this report within a certain time was very impt. Anyway i turned up for my next appt and fuck me he said he didnt get the 2nd letter that i wrote????? He looked at me like i was an imbecile for not understanding him. He spoke to me like i didnt get it. He spelt it out to me again like i was a child,that he needed permission to read it etc I dont think he believed me for a second that i had written two notes now . I wrote a third letter and this time when i went into the office, i made sure to give it to my caseworker (she sits in on meetings with my psychiatrist). So my next appt is in about 5 weeks. If he says he didnt get the third letter im going to pick up a chair and wrap it around his head. Honestly, is he fucking with me or as you say in the US Gaslighting me?
I have understand we're in different countries with different procedures, but here the only way to give that kind of permission is a standard form where you fill in the blanks about who you are and who you're giving permission to, and then you give your signature. It's all they'll accept, not a letter. Could this be what's going on? He's looking for a document he's not getting? Usually they have these forms and can just give you one and that's that.
 
enjolras

enjolras

Saw the angel shine through the jellyfish
Feb 13, 2020
1,057
1,604
My father was once dating a psychologist. I remember attending a whole dinner where a suicided patient was talked about, “out of work” hours. She cared sincerely, wondering what she could have done better, what arguments she had possibly wrong or words not enough, much like a parent would I guess, except it was a sort of auto-critic to seek an understanding so it doesn’t happen again. It really was digested like a troubling failure.
 
Last edited:
  • Aw..
Reactions: littlemisssunshine
Suez

Suez

Wise
Feb 27, 2020
259
356
I have understand we're in different countries with different procedures, but here the only way to give that kind of permission is a standard form where you fill in the blanks about who you are and who you're giving permission to, and then you give your signature. It's all they'll accept, not a letter. Could this be what's going on? He's looking for a document he's not getting? Usually they have these forms and can just give you one and that's that.
No there no form, I asked him in the very first session what he needed and he said that he needed me to write a letter saying that "I XXX give him XXX permission to read XXX document" and just date it and sign it. So thats what i did. But he just kept saying he never received anything from me. I saw the receptionist take it twice and put it in his mailbox. He must have got it. Hes just being an asshole for some reason. Ive done nothing to him to deserve this kind of bullshit.
 
k75

k75

L'appel du Vide
Jun 27, 2019
1,899
3,845
No there no form, I asked him in the very first session what he needed and he said that he needed me to write a letter saying that "I XXX give him XXX permission to read XXX document" and just date it and sign it. So thats what i did. But he just kept saying he never received anything from me. I saw the receptionist take it twice and put it in his mailbox. He must have got it. Hes just being an asshole for some reason. Ive done nothing to him to deserve this kind of bullshit.
Maybe you can make yet another copy and take it to your next appointment. If he claims to not have gotten the others, present it to him with witnesses and state what it's for so he can't deny?