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Triggered by conversations concerning suicide

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Lexa, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Lexa

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    Ok, I have a problem. I get severely triggered when the subject of suicide comes up. This morning my colleagues where talking about suicide when I entered the work place and that was the second time this week (same story was told to other colleagues). I wanted to flee but I didn't have anywhere to go. My colleagues don't know I have suicidal thoughts (I have had suicidal thoughts on and off during my life). Except for one and that's my closest colleague and that's the one who started both conversations this week (it's his story). I've already told him several times that conversations concerning suicide trigger me. The only answer I've ever gotten was that he still says what he wants. But this morning the situation was really problematic for me. I couldn't do my job, I couldn't focus at all. I told him I was severely upset because of his suicidal attempt story. I didn't get a reaction.

    Now my question is, is there anything else you think I could or should do? Should I restart a conversation with the colleague? Should I talk to my boss? (I work in the health care services.)? Doing nothing is torture for me (I was very, very upset and in flight mode until I could leave work) and it has a negative influence on my work results.
     
  2. PurpleDude

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    yeah, that's not how that works. anyone acting like that in my work place I would report to human resources or whomever you need to, especially after you've made it clear how uncomfortable the topic makes you.
     
  3. Chip

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    Is there an EAP where you work? My first thought might be to approach there and see if there's a therapist you can talk to about the issue. This might solve two issues at the same time: If your concerns are shared with the EAP representative, especially a licensed professional, and they make a referral about it, the likelihood is that it will be taken seriously. And secondarily, the bigger issue is for someone to help you with the triggering issues.

    The challenge we have is that being out in the world, people will be inconsiderate and in some cases just unintentionally thoughtless... so the EAP therapist may be able to work with you to reduce the triggering effects of someone discussing that, which would be the best possible solution, because then not only do you solve the immediate situation, but hopefully if you find yourself exposed in a different setting, you'll get to the point where it doesn't bother you.
     
  4. Lexa

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    Ok, reporting to human resources is not a good option, since the human recources manager is related to my closest colleague and probably won't understand the problem either. Also, I agree with you Chip. I don't think my colleague does it on purpose. He just thinks that the world resolves around him and as a result he's not very good at taking other people's feelings into account. I absolutely don't take it personally. It's just the way he is. I only suggested my boss because she is a psychologist and I thought she would probably understand the seriousness of my situation.

    There is no EAP therapist where I work. We do have a trust person though (also a psychologist) we can go talk to in case we encounter problems. She does not work at the same location as I do and I don't know her well (contrary to my boss) but I guess talking to her could be an option and thinking about it now it is probably the best option in my work place.

    I do realize that I'm oversensitive concerning this subject and that I need help with this. That's one of the reasons I'm in therapy. I would have talked about this with my therapist but he doesn't work at the moment (next appointment at the beginning of April).

    I have decided to wait and see what happens. I was very, very clear this time that I was very, very upset. If it happens again in the close future I'll talk to my therapist and/or the trust person about it. I'm going to mention what happened to my therapist next time I see him. Thank you both very much for your help!
     
    #4 Lexa, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019