Tonight I touched base with a psychologist Jay Todd J. Schuder. A few years ago I had interviewed him extensively for insight into Gen Next or what I called "The Fragile Generation." All that I used in an article I published in GREENTREE GAZETTE on the business problems that this needy Gen has been creating in higher education.
I put the muscle on him again because he spent a career in corrections before he went into private practice in Newington, Connecticut. What I asked him to do was think about this: Why do those ensnared in heavy-duty possibly career-killing legal problems not commit suicide.
The question first arose when a Mississippi radio-talk-show host interviewed me about the Scruggs' mess. We both wondered out loud: Given the web of political and business alliances, why haven't there be suicides already?
In my writing I have drilled down into why people do commit suicide, actively or passively. When Ann, the former prisoner I am coaching in writing, was in Niantic there were, she claims, about six suicides. Now, I'm asking a very different question: Why don't more people do it?
Before his Enron trial, Jeff Skilling said he seriously considered it. And one former Enron executive did do himself in.
I wonder if suicide is prevented by a sort of magical thinking which assumes one is special and the worst won't happen. Or perhaps there are pragmatic concerns such as not wanting to leave one's loved ones with the legacy of a suicide. It's said that all suicides are homicides, that is, intended to kill the spirits of those left behind. If one isn't hostile, then suicide is not the ideal exit strategy to legal problems.
Schuder will be getting back to me with his thoughts later this week. Meanwhile, any one with experience with or credentials in this subject is welcome to share their knowledge and opinions. Please leave a comment, email me at Mgenova981@aol.com or call at 203-458-8579.
Disclosure: Several members of my family, I am convinced, committed suicide passively.