WHY on earth does a school counselor "miss" direct threats?
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:12pm

Presumably, they are trained in psychology and particularly in child psychology to where they'd know that someone who puts out such clear signals that they are planning something WANTS to be stopped. If he didn't want to be stopped, he'd have never shared it with anyone who might get in the way of his plans. It seems obvious that he didn't really WANT to do it, was also obsessed with it and had a friends who were intrigued by it enough to play act, but he was also highly conflicted by it being more than "play-acting". That is the same behavior when associated with a reluctant suicide obsessed & frightened by their suicidal ideation, so reaching out for someone to STOP them and make them get help. They often may DO it simply because they are not taken seriously so they either want to "prove" they mean it, punish those who didn't listen, feel hopeless & like no one even cares so why not just get it over with, or to save face with someone who's laughed at or ridiculed them as being FOS looking for attention.

When someone talks about suicide, or makes remarks that they are consider/planning it, they are BEGGING for help. If they actually wanted to succeed, they'd tell NO ONE.

Treating such behavior as mere "attention seeking behavior" often provokes the person into actually DOING it.

A tragic example:

A long ago friend, "Mike", who was extremely depressed, talked about suicide constantly for a period of months while separated from his wife. Those friends closest to him at work were dismissing it as "attention getting behavior" they weren't going to reinforce by reacting to in spite of my warnings to take it seriously and GET HIM SOME HELP. They were telling him to "just cut it out, Mike, you know you don't want to die", believing that was helpful to him. Of course, it was NOT at all helpful because it not only dismissed/ridiculed his pain & feelings of despondence, but unwittingly contributed to his (likely) final decision to save face after a particularly dramatic cry for help.

One morning, after a few months of his suicide talk, we all came in to work to be told that he'd killed himself the night before. His close friends were all shocked and suddenly asking one another HOW they didn't see this coming (in spite of him constantly TELLING them it was). I didn't say anything to them. I mean, what was there to say at that point, that wouldn't make their pain of this loss that much worse by provoking extreme guilt upon realizing that he DID, in fact, warn them on a daily basis that he was thinking of it? They couldn't fail to connect that they didn't listen to the warnings, dismissed them as him just wanting attention, simply because they didn't understand that it was his cry for HELP to be STOPPED, not a bid for attention as they so fervently believed.

As the details became known, it became obvious that he'd desperately wanted to be stopped both with his suicidal ideation and constant talk of it. However, that night, he'd clearly felt compelled to act to "save face" because he'd written & MAILED letters to his loved ones, including his mother, 4 children and estranged-wife, whom he'd desperately hoped to get back together with, explaining his reasons for killing himself. Once mailed, he likely concluded that he HAD to do something dramatic else look ridiculous when they got the letters, and suffer more humiliation as a result of writing those letters. It was too late to stop them and likely he dreaded the idea of his wife, Mom, and children all dismissing his extreme emotional pain as attention-getting BS as his friends kept doing.

So, he stayed up very late with his Mom, whom he was temporarily staying with while separated from his wife, watching a light night ball game together and then a late night show she'd always liked. She reported to police that he seemed anxious & distracted but not despondent and that it was odd for him to stay up SO late when he had to get up so early for work. According to the coroner (and his Mom hearing him in the bathroom around the time), sometime around 4AM, he took a huge helping of his Mom's BP meds, obviously believing she'd find him in time, ultimately saving his life and saving face with those he'd mailed the letters to. What he didn't know is that she decided to just 'let him sleep' and she called out of work for him BECAUSE they'd stayed up so late together and she'd heard him still up only an hour before his alarm should have gone off. By the time she realized that something was very wrong with him, he was long dead, having likely expected to be found within less than an hour when his usual alarm would have gone off, totally not realizing that his mother would behave like any mother, and would want him to get the rest he needed, so turn his alarm off and leave him sleeping.

It was listed as an accidental overdose, in spite of it being a deliberate overdose simply because the circumstances warranted the coroner to conclude that he hadn't INTENDED to die, but to be found in the nick of time. That difference in cause of death being the difference between the receipt of life insurance benefits for his wife & children vs. nothing being paid out if it was ruled a suicide. The insurance company disputed that finding, as obviously they would, but an investigation supported the coroner's conclusion in court, and the insurance WAS paid out according to the policy.

It is highly likely that the boy who kept putting big clues out there WANTED to be stopped too.