Day 778

Bereavement by suicide is a risk factor for suicide.

A study published in The British Journal of General Practise in August 2016 found that among GPs there is a low level of confidence in dealing with suicide and an unpreparedness to face parents bereaved by suicide. Some GPs described guilt surrounding the suicide and a reluctance to initiate contact with the bereaved parents. They talked of their duty to care for the bereaved patients but admitted difficulties in knowing what to do, particularly in the perceived absence of other services. They also reflected on the impact of the suicide on themselves and described a lack of support or supervision.

2 weeks after Saagar’s death I went to see our GP. I just wanted to see him as there had been no communication between us since Saagar’s last consultation, which was 2 days before his death. He asked me if I was sleeping well. Through a non-stop stream of tears I said I wasn’t. He gave me a prescription for sleeping tablets to last me 3 months. Just perfect for someone who was para-suicidal. Time up. Consultation over.

A few weeks hence I consulted a homeopath. She asked me how I felt. She listened. She created a safe space for me to share from the heart. She wanted to know how I was coping and what support systems I had in place. She acknowledged my tears. She held me like a baby. She taught me techniques that would help me release anger out of my system. At the very end she gave me some medicines for healing. She knew exactly what needed to be done. Having time with her was a blessing.

This is how Wikipedia defines ‘Alternative medicine’: practices claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or only harmful.

Lately, there is a trend towards slating alternative medicine as quackery. This is worrying as it assumes superiority of Allopathy over all other disciplines for every possible condition. However, this is not the case. The pharmaceutical industry has something to do with this propaganda just as the automobile industry had a huge influence on cutting back train services in the UK. As far as evidence is concerned, Randomised Controlled Trials are often not do-able or appropriate for many medical interventions within Allopathy.

Holistic care is only possible if we acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of different disciplines and use them in conjunction with each other.