“How a Patient Suicide Affects Psychiatrists”


“It’s hard to listen to a psychiatrist who sounds so broken,” writes Sulome Anderson in The Atlantic, discussing with a psychiatrist how it feels when a patient commits suicide.

“This is what we do when people die,” the psychiatrist tells Anderson. “Even if they die an expected death, it seems to be human nature to go back over [it]. What should I have said that I didn’t, or shouldn’t have said that I did? Could I have done more or did I do too much? This seems to be a part of the grieving process. I think it’s especially intense in a situation where you have direct responsibility for helping the person get better.”

How Patient Suicide Affects Psychiatrists (The Atlantic, January 20, 2015)


  1. I can’t imagine any psychiatrist I’ve met giving a flying f**ck about me killing myself. They would be to busy covering up the abuse I received from them and blaming my suicide on my severe mental illness as opposed to state-condoned torture.

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    • I agree, my psychiatrist was poisoning me with six drugs that all had major drug interaction warnings while claiming to my face that my name, thus identity, was “irrelevant to reality.” And he was rationalizing to himself this attempted murder of me by writing in his medical records that I was “w/o content, worth, and talent.” IMO, that’s pretty sick behavior.

      After time he did eventually look at my work, and claim it to be “work of smart female.” And he finally realized I was “insightful.” Da, of course a woman with a border line genius IQ is “insightful.” It was the psychiatrist force medicating me based solely on lies from child molesters, unbeknownst to me at the time of course, that turned out to be lacking in insight. I hadn’t realized psychiatric care was nothing more than defaming, discrediting, and tranquilizing people based on lies and gossip from child molesters until I was handed over the proof of this by some nice nurses.

      I think the doctors behaving in this manner should be arrested, but instead these crimes against patients are known as “appropriate medical care” in the US today. As are the crimes committed against patients by doctors who have now been arrested by the FBI. No wonder doctors kill more people than almost anything else.

      And no doubt, giving patients antidepressants, now known to cause suicides, should likely not be considered wise any longer. When will the psychiatrists realize this? Six children in my ex-therapist’s neighborhood killed themselves after being stigmatized and drugged. I wish the psychiatric professionals would stop causing the children to commit suicide.

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    • Todd,

      It depends on if the psychiatrist met the standard of care. It is possible for all doctors, not just psychiatrists to do this which can still result in a bad outcome. That doesn’t mean it is medical malpractice.

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      • You’re right, “standard of care” is the problem. According to the DSM5, it is now considered appropriate “standard of care” to claim adverse effects of the antidepressants is the “lifelong, incurable, genetic” bipolar disorder, so one can not sue if one is misdiagnosed (according to the DSM-IV-TR) in such a manner.

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  2. I simply don’t believe most psychiatrists really care when their patients suicide. They might worry about being sued, or be sorry in a very detached way, but that’s probably about it. How utterly rare is it for a psychiatrist to actually go to a patient’s funeral? As a psychiatrist said to me once after I told her she obviously just didn’t care, “It’s not our job to care!” I’ve also seen psychiatrists verbally abuse patients who expressed suicidality in hospital. The article does highlight the limitations of treatment pretty well, tho. Those who need help the most are often denied it, or professionals aren’t able to help them, that’s just the reality of it.

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    • After the six stigmatized and drugged children in my old neighborhood committed suicide, right around the same time as the black box warning was put onto the antidepressants. The psychiatric community rallied together to increase suicide awareness to bring in more business, rather than admitting to the neighborhood that the antidepressants just had a black box warning stating they increase the likelihood of suicides put on them.

      I’m pretty certain this is evidence the medical community is more interested in protecting their own reputations, and bringing more children into the system, than they are in admitting to the truth.

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  3. I can comment on attempted suicide connected with psychiatric depot medication in Ireland and how this affected my Psychiatrist.

    When I moved to the UK I wrote and asked the Psychiatric Unit in Ireland, to please send ADR warning to the UK. The ‘Unit’ deliberately omitted ADR warning and sent over an account of me in the negative.

    The Psychiatrist responsible has since taken part in the production of several published papers on the merits of the same medications.

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  4. Hmmmmmmm………….hard as I’d like to, I just can’t buy this. I know a very few psychiatrists who would be truly sorry if one of their patients killed themselves. I can think of two at the moment. Most of the ones that I deal with on a daily basis, based on how I’ve seen them treat and deal with the people they’re supposed to be helping, would not be one of those poor psychiatrists who sound so broken about the death of a “patient”. Of course, I can’t state this for sure since this is an assumption based on what I see of their daily behavior. Most of the time I believe that many of them are only worried about malpractice suits which might be brought against them. I’ve become very cynical about psychiatrists, and most doctors in general. Medicine was not what it once was in this country.

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  5. This is an OT response but I wanted to mention that were someone in the article who was hospitalized for severe depression who ended up committing suicide. I am not one who always blames the drugs but there is no doubt in my mind in reading the drug history of quick med changes that they were to blame.

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