Eh?

Veterinarians Are Killing Themselves. An Online Group Is There To Listen And Help

“Yep, that’s cool, good you turned the volume up, I can hear your gurgles as you strangle now. And just a hint, if you try swinging side to side you might speed up the process a bit. But not too much! Don’t pull that hook out of the ceiling now. Don’t want to have to start over!”

That sorta listening and help?

23 comments on “Eh?

  1. Beauticians are killing themselves. Will the Online Group help them, or are they just looking for free pet care?

  2. If you’re working as a vet, making Fido and Mr Fluffykins better, getting well paid to do it, and you want to kill yourself, you’re the problem.

    It’s not like you’re working on the Vodafone call centre and dealing with sweary, obnoxious customers all day, monitored for how long you spend taking a piss and earning sod all.

  3. Dentists have a high suicide rate too.

    I think the having to be giving, kind, caring and healing all the time with no errors tolerated is draining

  4. Bloke on M4 – could be worse, could be working in a call centre for minimum wage and going to the toilet in your breaks.

    Taking home well over a grand a month though, which helps pay the bills…

  5. Cruel but funny.
    Of course, if that was on Twatter, you’d probably have the police hammering at the door by now….
    …Oh, hang on. You’re in Portugal aren’t you? Proper police with proper jobs to do.
    Nevertheless, good luck next time you present your passport at UK border contol.
    HATE CRIME!

  6. The suicide rate in medical and allied professions is kept high by having unfettered access to reliable and rapid means of topping yourself. Same as farmers.

  7. Pcar,

    “I think the having to be giving, kind, caring and healing all the time with no errors tolerated is draining”

    Sure, but why not quit? Go and stack shelves in Wal-Mart?

  8. Was going to make same point as BiG.

    Would be interesting to know if it’s the rate of attempts that’s different or just the proportion of attempts resulting in death.

  9. ‘The suicide rate in medical and allied professions is kept high by having unfettered access to reliable and rapid means of topping yourself. Same as farmers.’

    Don’t be stupid, Biggie. Suicide is from chronic depression. There are a gazillion ways to off yourself. Even a bottle of Tylenol will do it.

  10. Vets generally work insanely long hours (often are ‘on call’) and get abuse from people regularly. The pay is not amazing either. Also, they are also usually people who love animals and what breaks them is not the work itself (where they know they are doing good) but the pet owners. They see so much not just outright abuse, but callous disregard from people about their pets health and welfare. For nearly every dilligent and concientious pet owner, they get another asshole who has brought their animal in, in terrible pain because they have not had an obvious and treatable problem addressed when it first appeared. They have only brought the animal in now because it cant be ignored because it is bleeding on the carpet or wont shut up. Or they let their horrible kids play too rough with the animal because ‘kids will be kids’ or some bullshit.

    I know of two vets who have killed themselves. I can understand it. I wanted to work with animals but knew that I wouldn’t last very long if I did.

    ‘Don’t be stupid, Biggie. Suicide is from chronic depression. There are a gazillion ways to off yourself. Even a bottle of Tylenol will do it.’

    It’s actually really hard to kill yourself via a medication overdose. More often what happens is significant organ damage, but you are still alive – and for someone already wishin to die, life is a hell of a lot worse. And that refers to people really who wish to actually kill themselves as opposed to self-harmers who have a range of motives but not to actiually die. If you are successful (unlikely), it is a very drawn out and painful way to go. Access to easy means (anesthetics that are not closely monitored as in a hospital) is a massive risk factor for suicide.

  11. Gamecock,

    Being motivated to do so and being able to complete the act are different things.

    And tylenol is one of the most awful ways to kill yourself.

  12. So crash your car into a bridge abuttement.

    I had a coworker who went out to her garage and started her car up.

    That’s it. The boss found her the next day when he went looking for her after she didn’t show up for work.

    “Access to easy means (anesthetics that are not closely monitored as in a hospital) is a massive risk factor for suicide.”

    I don’t believe it. Killing yourself is not difficult or complicated. Cutting the visible veins in your wrists will do it.

    Case in point: guns are frequently used in the U.S. Guns are rarely used in Japan. Japan has a suicide rate 4X the U.S. The tool/method is obviously not a factor.

  13. Game cock,
    ‘Cutting the visible veins in your wrist will do it’
    Despite what movies suggest, no, that rarely works. A person usually clots before that occurs.
    Guns are used more often in suicide in the US due to easy access. Guns are heavily restricted in Japan, so people use other methods. The rate in suicide between the two countries is attributable to other factors eg culture, attitude to suicide etc etc. Also japan’s suicide rate is 50% higher than the US, not 4x higher.
    In Australia the suicide rate dropped overall after gun laws were tightened in 1997. Fewer deaths due to gunshot (but an increase in hanging).
    When I worked in emergency we saw a hell of a lot of ppl who had been severely injured and paralysed due to unsuccessful suicide attempts such as ‘crash your car into a bridge abutment’. It’s a risky way to try as, like overdosing, your life is much more fucked if it fails. Also, that method usually requires at least some planning and is not as ‘impulsive’ as guns/anesthetic admin, which can be done immediately if one has access.
    I’m sorry about your coworker. I also lost someone that way. But studies consistently show that access to means is a big risk factor. Of course there are tons of issues with conclusions from non-experimental cohort studies. But they are more reliable that what you choose to believe and your experience of a sample of one.

  14. Another piece of evidence on availability of means affecting outcomes – simply limiting the number of paracetamol tablets in a packet substantially reduced suicides. (Note that most attempts at paracetamol overdose are unsuccessful but it often leads to long-term liver damage, the kind of point BiG and juliaeryn make above).

    https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f403

    Abstract
    Objective: To assess the long term effect of United Kingdom legislation introduced in September 1998 to restrict pack sizes of paracetamol on deaths from paracetamol poisoning and liver unit activity.

    Design: Interrupted time series analyses to assess mean quarterly changes from October 1998 to the end of 2009 relative to projected deaths without the legislation based on pre-legislation trends.

    Setting: Mortality (1993-2009) and liver unit activity (1995-2009) in England and Wales, using information from the Office for National Statistics and NHS Blood and Transplant, respectively.

    Participants: Residents of England and Wales.

    Main outcome measures: Suicide, deaths of undetermined intent, and accidental poisoning deaths involving single drug ingestion of paracetamol and paracetamol compounds in people aged 10 years and over, and liver unit registrations and transplantations for paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity.

    Results: Compared with the pre-legislation level, following the legislation there was an estimated average reduction of 17 (95% confidence interval −25 to −9) deaths per quarter in England and Wales involving paracetamol alone (with or without alcohol) that received suicide or undetermined verdicts. This decrease represented a 43% reduction or an estimated 765 fewer deaths over the 11¼ years after the legislation. A similar effect was found when accidental poisoning deaths were included, and when a conservative method of analysis was used. This decrease was largely unaltered after controlling for a non-significant reduction in deaths involving other methods of poisoning and also suicides by all methods. There was a 61% reduction in registrations for liver transplantation for paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity (−11 (−20 to −1) registrations per quarter). But no reduction was seen in actual transplantations (−3 (−12 to 6)), nor in registrations after a conservative method of analysis was used.

    Conclusions: UK legislation to reduce pack sizes of paracetamol was followed by significant reductions in deaths due to paracetamol overdose, with some indication of fewer registrations for transplantation at liver units during the 11 years after the legislation. The continuing toll of deaths suggests, however, that further preventive measures should be sought.

  15. “The rate in suicide between the two countries is attributable to other factors eg culture, attitude to suicide etc etc.”

    Exactly. Not the tools, as I said.

    “But studies consistently show that access to means is a big risk factor.”

    Studies consistently show we are going to be dead from global warming by 1998. Uhh . . . 2008. Pickadateanydate.

    My favorite “studies” are American Lefties saying we must ban guns to cut the suicide rate. American Lefties support assisted suicide. So suicide is good, unless you use a gun. You should use government assistance instead of DYI.

    ‘An Online Group Is There To Listen And Help’

    “Yeah, don’t slash your wrists, it my clot before you die.”

    Wait! Do not doctors have the same access to tools that veterinarians have? Shouldn’t their suicide rate be the same . . . if it’s just access to tools?

  16. @BiG

    Dentists don’t have easy access to euthanasia drugs.

    Mrs Pcar’s Practice Owner gassed himself in car in garage, his wife found him.

    Tip for others: Do not phone people after 10pm (esp not at 3am) to tell them someone is dead – it achieves nothing positive, but prevents sleep.

    .
    Suicide – if someone wants to die it should be made easy and humane, not painful, difficult and often unsuccessful

    That we’re allowed to put animals “to sleep”, but not ourselves is wrong.

  17. *Some* (?American) veterinarians are killing themselves – some care enough about animals to keep going. When I got back from holiday I found an email saying Ed Shillabear had flown back from the Isle of Man “immediately” after completing 68 miles in the 24-hour race to go back to work as a Vet in Devon as there are not enough locums to allow him long holidays. He is 80 years old.

  18. gamecock,
    OK this is my last one, I swear.
    You ignored my point about overall rates in Aus, which contradicts your assertation about access to means.

    ‘Studies consistently show we are going to be dead from global warming by 1998. Uhh . . . 2008. Pickadateanydate.’
    Yeah, thats a good point. Studies in a completely different field that use completely different methods for a completely different aim have been wrong, therefore all studies are likely wrong. Better chuck out all that medical research too. I guess that is a convenient view to have when research evidence gets in the way of your own pet theories.
    I’m not sure what your point re studies banning guns to lower suicide rates but allowing euthanasia. I have never advocated for banning guns…

    ‘Wait! Do not doctors have the same access to tools that veterinarians have? Shouldn’t their suicide rate be the same . . . if it’s just access to tools?’

    As I said earlier, the meds are much harder for drs to access in hospitals, with all the controls, counts and oversight. vets have free-er access as they are often a two (or solo) operation. But I don’t know – maybe the rate is just as high for Drs?

    John77 – Ed Shillabear sounds like a total legend

  19. @juliaeryn

    I believe that not only are doctor sucide rates high but that they are higher in particular among anaesthetists for the reason you give.

    Obviously work stress might well be part of it but there’s plenty of evidence that accessibility of means matters. I guess but don’t know for sure that this is especially true for more effective means that do not violate certain social norms – even people who want to die presumably are often squeamish about certain methods, or have a desire to preserve bodily integrity.

  20. ‘But studies consistently show that access to means is a big risk factor.’

    Plural. Why multiple studies when one should do?

    A red flag that they are political, not science. Commissioned to get the desired result.

    Democrats have being claiming for decades that controlling guns would reduce suicide rates. They have the studies to prove it!

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