|"It will be much more pleasant chatting if you don't mention anything awkward, like a family history of suicide, or, God forbid, your own recent thoughts about ending your own life."|
Science of Us
"Few people know what to say when someone dies, and this is perhaps especially true when the cause of death is suicide. In 2008, psychologist Maggie Gugliemi interviewed people who lost loved ones to suicide, and their combined experiences speak to that isolation. Here’s a story from a woman named Alyssa:
I’ve been to a number of different doctors, medical doctors [since the death] and they always take your health history when you go see a new doctor. I recall a couple of times the doctor asking about family medical history. When they asked about my dad and I’d tell him he was deceased, the next question they would ask was, “How did he die?” I would respond, “Suicide,” and then there was silence. Nothing, no response. No “I’m sorry,” no further questioning, just silence. It happened a couple of times … You know that they don’t even know where to begin with questioning about something like that."