American Doctors Are Killing Themselves and No One Is Talking About It

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/23/american-doctors-are-killing-themselves-and-no-one-is-talking-about-it.html

Seems like the only time we talk about suicide is when celebrities are involved.

The last night of his life, Greg Miday was fearful that authorities at the Missouri PHP, which in 2009 had ordered him to 90 days in a 12-step rehab and five years of random drug tests, would make drastic sanctions after he had failed at their forced plan of abstinence...

Suicide, of course, is never rational, and those who can best explain their decision are no longer here…

Of course suicide can be rational, especially for the terminally ill. And if anyone wants to know about the different reasons people try to commit suicide, there are these things called blogs that can be checked out.

Instead, many self-medicate. About 9 percent of the U.S. population suffers from an alcohol- or substance-use disorder. Among doctors, that figure is between 10 to 15 percent…

That percentage for doctors seems a little low, especially when you compare the U.S. population to the number of doctors.

“He liked drinking,” Karen says. “It gave him confidence. He loved being the life of the party.”

There’s a reason why alcohol is called “liquid courage” and a “social lubricant.”  But it doesn’t seem like this doctor lacked confidence, or else he wouldn’t have been described as condescending.  Perhaps where he lacked confidence was in social situations, as doctors spend an awful lot of time alone studying while classmates are partying and continuing their high school popularity contests.  Yet, this doctor seemed to party a lot, so that can’t be it…

Being popular must be a little like being rich or good looking — you’re never really sure if your friends love you or your good looks, popularity, or money.  Some people need to be popular like drug addicts need drugs — I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems like it could be.  I remember Matt’s story (see blog entitled “Matt and Jane”), and how he described the feeling of confidence that Vicodin gave him in social situations.  And I guess if you’re an introvert that really wants to be an extrovert, drugs can help you get there.

But after reading Greg’s story (as told by others, of course), it seems like he just gave up.  Too much pressure.  He was described as being “adored,” and I’m guessing that must be a hard thing to maintain.  Hopefully, Greg’s story will be a catalyst for change.  (Hey, Greg, say Hi to Robin Williams for me, okay?)

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