Jokes about suicide in the office

(78 Posts)
HuckleberryGin Wed 10-Aug-16 09:18:08

Two colleagues this morning who sit next to me discussing the traffic getting home last night. A road had been closed/delayed due to a woman sitting on a bridge, police and ambulances in attendance, due to a possible suicide attempt. They were obviously annoyed at the delay, but were saying (loudly and laughing) "oh I just wanted to shout, just get on with it" and "if you wanna kill yourself, fine, but don't get in other people's way" amongst other things. They were chatting and laughing for a while agreeing that if you want to kill yourself you shouldn't hold other people up and get in the way. Or that she didn't really mean it and was just attention seeking.

I have Bipolar disorder. They know this, as does everyone in office as I have some reasonable adjustments and I am very open about it. I also suffered from post natal psychosis and was suicidal- including standing on a bridge with my daughter as a baby (not with her she was in pram). They also know this as I did some fundraising for the Mother and Baby unit recently.

I am very upset, I actually had to go outside as was tearful and a bit panicky with breathing. I'm not sure if I'm being over sensitive or unreasonable to expect people not to talk like this in the office or in front of me.

HappyHeart87 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:20:06

Not an overreaction at all. They were being stupid and insensitive and plain nasty.

Pipistrelle40 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:21:02

People have very short memories I find to other people's troubles. Don't take it personally OP.

They are cunts though and unfeeling, that poor lady.

PurpleDaisies Wed 10-Aug-16 09:21:49

No, I'd have told people to stop and remember that they were talking about an actual person who could have been a friend or relative of theirs. Horrible behaviour.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Wed 10-Aug-16 09:22:30

Some people are twats. You are not. If you can face it, call them out on it. If not, rise above it.

Kitkatandcake Wed 10-Aug-16 09:22:59

They're idiots, ignore every word. The majority of people who saw that person on the bridge would have empathised. I would have sat in traffic all week if it meant that person was ok. My colleagues also complained about how selfish someone was for throwing themselves under a train which meant they were an hour late home. I have to say I'd probably report it to my line manager because it's unacceptable behaviour too. You wouldn't joke about someone having cancer, or any other equally horrible illness! Be kind to yourself today. Xx

MarcelineTheVampire Wed 10-Aug-16 09:23:10

You are not over sensitive at all, they were completely out of order.

People who haven't suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts won't have the comprehension of the desperation felt at that time, hence the stupid comments.

If you feel up to it, perhaps have a quiet word with one or both of them and explain that their comments are insensitive and unnecessary.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Wed 10-Aug-16 09:23:46

That must have been so upsetting. flowers
Unfortunately people are very ignorant about mental health and most people don't understand that the state one has to be in to consider ending one's life, generally means you're not thinking about practical things like 'holding up the traffic' ffs
I was a police officer dealing with many suicidal people and I was always shocked how little people actually understand.

Pootles2010 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:24:58

I get this at my office, they know my BIL killed himself by jumping in front of a train. Some people get stuck in their own little bubble with not a thought to anyone else.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 10-Aug-16 09:27:49

I'm afraid it is just what people say- suicide is a terrible thing. No one in their right mind would commit suicide- so it is impossible to comprehend when you are of well mind (I'm not sure if I've explained that well- I hope you know what I mean).

Through that difficulty to find the empathy and compassion to understand it, people make comments and have conversations like the one you overheard. People also use humour to cope with things like suicide, because obviously no one likes to think of anyone killing themselves, and how their families will feel on receiving the news- it's all too sad to even think about, so people make jokes and make light of it instead, as it helps them in their thinking about it, as if you didn't, you yourself may become so depressed and sad that it upsets you.

I'm sorry you felt upset, please remember this isn't a reflection of how they feel about you, or how they percieve you. It is more about how people have to think about suicide in order to try and process that news themselves.

practy Wed 10-Aug-16 09:31:39

So awful, they are horrible. I would be tempted to lie and say something like, my mum killed herself by jumping from a bridge, yes hilarious isn't it.

Viviene Wed 10-Aug-16 09:37:16

I work with similarly insensitive idiots - be kind to yourself today and maybe go for a walk over lunchtime?

Justaboy Wed 10-Aug-16 09:42:28

So sad in this day and age there's still so much IGNORANCE re metal health issues still:-(.

JohnLithgowsLargeForehead Wed 10-Aug-16 09:43:11

I think deep down they found it horrifying but they are using humour to cover it up, as a lot of us do. They definitely shouldn't have said that in front of you though.

Planty18 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:46:02

Yanbu but I think as pp have said people completely forget what other people are going through. They process and pop it away somewhere and aren't necessarily sensitive to your reactions to things. People joke inappropriately about all sorts of things in the workplace, in the pub, in public, without thinking of how others will feel and while they weren't being very nice, I am sure they weren't trying to be unkind to you personally. I lost my sil to suicide so I totally empathise, I would have felt sick hearing that but at the same time I wouldn't want people walking on eggshells about it either if the topic came up. That said I think joking about it is a step too far really. I hope getting a breath of fresh air and giving those people a wide berth helps you feel more peaceful, I always find it helps.

cherryplumbanana Wed 10-Aug-16 09:49:45

Of course it's not about you. Sometimes you have to laugh or cry. People joke about serious issues, but they probably also never mention their own problems and family dramas, everybody has them. It does sound awful, but it helps to take pressure off.

I heard that kind of jokes a lot around me, there has been quite a few cases from a restaurant near my office. The reasoning is that people don't care about anyone else: the people they hurt, the ones who have to deal with the horror, the family they left behind, the kids traumatised for life and blaming themselves, so why do bystanders should care?
It just mean that everybody is upset by a sad situation, people deal with it in different ways.

travellinghopefully12 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:50:21

They are being horrible. Hope the woman got down off the bridge okay and is now receiving the care she needs.

PurpleDaisies Wed 10-Aug-16 09:51:16

It just mean that everybody is upset by a sad situation, people deal with it in different ways.

Yes but in a professional environment they should keep the tasteless jokes to themselves.

KinkyAfro Wed 10-Aug-16 09:54:45

My dad committed suicide by stepping in front of a train, my brother had an anonymous text message on the anniversary saying something along the lines of "let's hope the trains are running on time this year and I'm not late for work".

There's some sick fucks out there, I'm sorry you've had to go through this flowers

Caken Wed 10-Aug-16 09:57:28

They're arseholes. I don't know why people think their need to rush home or to work or wherever is more important than another person's life. I hope the poor woman gets the help she needs.

I've seen a lot of that kind of 'joke' on facebook when people are delayed because of someone suicidal and I always wonder how people can be so wrapped up in themselves to not care about someone feeling so low they want to die.

I know it's slightly different but I've studied crowd psychology and suicide baiting and it's a fascinating subject. Obviously awful and horrible but it's strange to see how people's behaviour changes in crowds, and how they act differently to if they were on their own.

cmsconfused Wed 10-Aug-16 09:57:46

kinky, that's awful sad

PurpleAquilegia Wed 10-Aug-16 10:03:03

I understand why you were upset, and it's unprofessional to express thoughts/opinions like that at work. They were insensitive to say those things.

On the other hand, it is selfish to kill oneself in a way that has a big impact on others - jumping off a road bridge into the path of cars, or in front of a train. The person who hits you will be severely traumatised by that (and may never get over it) and you have massively impacted other people. Most people understand, though, that people in extremely acute mental distress aren't thinking much of others. There are ways to kill oneself that have minimal impact on others (I've got mine all planned out), so it does seem to me that maybe people who go with the more spectacular/traumatic methods are doing so because they want to make a final statement, so to speak.

Geraniumred Wed 10-Aug-16 10:03:13

It's not unusual, sadly.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Wed 10-Aug-16 10:05:04

The world is infested with bastards. You are working with two of them sadly.

PurpleDaisies Wed 10-Aug-16 10:06:55

There are ways to kill oneself that have minimal impact on others (I've got mine all planned out), so it does seem to me that maybe people who go with the more spectacular/traumatic methods are doing so because they want to make a final statement, so to speak.

What a horrible horrible thing to say. People committing suicide are mentally ill. They can't be expected to make rational choices. It isn't making a dramatic final statement, it's making sure they're absolutely going to fe dead. What a nasty ignorant post to make on a thread where people are sharing their experience of friends who've died like this. biscuit

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