Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

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Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:05 am

One of my best friends at law school just struck out at OCI. He just got the final rejection from his 4th callback. I gave him the standard TLS advice. Mass mail, network, re-evaluate goals, and if all else fails drop out. Apparently he can't drop out because his parents will disown him and cut him off financially (although they don't give him any money now). He is taking out a near sticker amount of debt at our T14.

He is really depressed. He told me he is thinking about "ending it". I asked him if he meant dropping out and he just shook his head no. I am really worried. I don't know who I can tell. I thought about telling his parents but I don't know how to get ahold of them and his descriptions of them make me worried about what their reactions to this would be (they are stereotypical overbearing asian parents). I am not really sure what to do here. I am going to make him hang out with me so he is not lonely but this whole thing seems terrible.

Any advice? (I know about the relevant suicide prevention hotlines.)

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Arbiter213
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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:07 am

Contact your school's CAPS and ask them what to do. If you have to, take him there. Having had to do that, my suggestion is suggest a walk with him, lead him to the CAPS office without saying where you were going.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Zensack » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:17 am

Psychology major here.

There's no magic bullet, but professional counseling is the next best thing. I would recommend one who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The basic idea of CBT is that you retrain negative, defeatist thought patterns into nuetral and positive ones, and learn to recognise thoughts and feelings as being things that you create yourself, and have the power to let go of. CBT generally follows a holistic model, which is concerned with both physical and mental health. I recommend against anti depressants, which actually increase suicide risk during the first few weeks of treatment. I'll try and keep an eye on this thread (or you can PM) if you want to ask any questions.

This is a spiel I copy/paste on other boards for people who are down and/or out. Feel free to plagiarize:

Your feelings are just feelings, no matter how strong they seem. Your thoughts are just thoughts. Other people do not control your thoughts or your emotions, you do.

The way to defuse negative emotions is simply to step back, recognize them for what they are, and let them slip out of your mind, like oil flowing over a teflon pan. Take a few deep breaths. When you think things that are counter productive or self destructive stop and step back; remind yourself that it's only a thought and let it go.

Take up meditation. Unlearn your negative thought patterns by repeating new, better thoughts over and over until they start to stick.

Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a balanced diet.

Go see a counselor. Break off contact with people who drag you down; you can't do anything to help them if you can't help yourself.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:45 am

I would ditto what everyone else has said. In addition, I would try to stay away from the topic of dropping out. There are lots of opportunities out there to earn a living, even with student loans. Dropping out seems like even more of a failure, and emphasizing that would probably reinforce those negative emotions.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby arodd53 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:06 am

Definitely pay a visit to your school's mental health counselors. This is what they are there for.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby cinephile » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:21 am

I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:32 am

The situation can vary completely depending on if he has ever had these thoughts before. If he's had a pattern his whole life with depression and/or suicidal thoughts this could be very serious and I would contact his parents immediately. If not, it's simply a vast(well, maybe) overreaction to some terrible news, and your best option is to be there for him as much as humanly possible, and make sure all his other friends and family are as well. Suggesting counseling may or may not be the answer, it's hard to say how he'd react. He might rebuke you and draw further away, the same is possible about bringing his parents into this.
I'd discuss with him further about his feelings, history of depression or suicide, and then work in thoughts on counseling, and(if he's had a history) if his parents know and how they'd react. Either way, if he seems very serious about these thoughts(keep in mind he might try to lie to you and play it off) his liking you takes a place on the back burner and you need to let people know right away what is going on.

Not a psych major or anything, just a lot of experience with suicide and depression. Hope some of this helps.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby JCFindley » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:44 am

Take his words VERY seriously and try and get him help.

My son's best friend's father hanged himself last week and the devastation left behind is far reaching. There are ALWAYS other options, and I mean ALWAYS!

EDIT: When I say get him help, I don't mean outing him immediately to the school or his parents but being there for him and maybe guiding him to the right place but in your judgement, contact whomever you might need to contact and save his life before worrying about the long term.
Last edited by JCFindley on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:45 am

cinephile wrote:I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.


This is incredibly bad advice.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby cinephile » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:02 am

Arbiter213 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.


This is incredibly bad advice.


You're right. Putting someone in a situation where they're kicked out of school and left alone and without support would be the better option.

You really have to be careful in situations like these.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:31 am

cinephile wrote:
Arbiter213 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.


This is incredibly bad advice.


You're right. Putting someone in a situation where they're kicked out of school and left alone and without support would be the better option.

You really have to be careful in situations like these.


You can talk to the psych counsellors without mentioning the friend's name.

memo2partner
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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby memo2partner » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:37 am

google "lawyers assistance program". I think every state has one. They handle these sorts of things and can help your friend.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
cinephile wrote:
Arbiter213 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.


This is incredibly bad advice.


You're right. Putting someone in a situation where they're kicked out of school and left alone and without support would be the better option.

You really have to be careful in situations like these.


You can talk to the psych counsellors without mentioning the friend's name.


Dingdingding.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Zensack » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:01 pm

Arbiter213 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I'd be careful of mentioning anything to the school or any school's psych counseling. Many schools have a policy of forcing students who talk of suicide to take a leave of absence, and if he's forced out of the school and back home to his parents who may/may not take him back, who knows what he might do? It might be better for him to be around friends at school now than alone. If you're going to call someone for help, make sure they're not affiliated with your school.


This is incredibly bad advice.


I actually agree with it. What's good for your friend isn't necessarily what's good for the school, and counselors at some institutions will always give priority to the school. It's not difficult to find a reputable private counselor (the school's health department will even help if you ask), who will not have a conflict of interests. If you ask them for advice or information, tell them it's for a friend at another institution.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:12 pm

I know someone who struck out like that too. He wound up going part time during 2L year so that he could have another crack at OCI. It worked out for him the second time. Your friend should do that, sounds like he could use some time off.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby de5igual » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:17 pm

What your friend needs is hope. As stupid as this sounds, the most effective thing is probably have him talk to someone who struck out and yet landed on his feet and is somewhat successful. Speaking to other students who can't empathize, counselors who are clueless about law school, and parents/administrators who have contradictory interests won't help at all.

09042014
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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby 09042014 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:20 pm

LOL at people who refuse to report this because HE MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE A LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM LAWL SCHOOL. Oh the humanity.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby sunynp » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:30 pm

I question if his parents would really disown him if they knew how distressed he was.

I perfectly understand his depression. I think it is an understandabke reactiob to being fucked and over your head in debt. That doeant mean he will never have a career. But he cant see that now.

Suicide is beyond a normal reaction to striking out ( of course), and I had a family member commit suicide so I emphasize that you must take this seriously. It is beyond your ability to solve at this point. He needs professional help.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby fraught » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:03 pm

Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who refuse to report this because HE MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE A LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM LAWL SCHOOL. Oh the humanity.


For real. As if the worst thing that could ever happen is striking out at OCI.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who struck out like that too. He wound up going part time during 2L year so that he could have another crack at OCI. It worked out for him the second time. Your friend should do that, sounds like he could use some time off.


Wouldn't frame it like that. I am going through the same thing, and struck out the second time as well at a top 7 school, leading to even more serious thoughts of suicide. The part time thing would be good for your friend, but for the more intensive help he can get rather than the second shot at OCI. Unfortunately a lot of my journey was independent since my friends were completely unknowledgeable about mental illness, and it is rough as hell. In the end, the school supported me by suggesting part time so I can do more intensive therapy, which I continue to this day even though much less intense and depression has been managed. Not everything is all roses and sunshine, and things may still suck. I am possibly looking at striking out from Clerkships, and graduating w/out a job. So not sure can offer anything too optimistic at this time in my life.

Your support of your friend is really commendable. I wish had friends that I felt were just as considerate.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:16 pm

If the concern is that the kid will be ordered to take a leave of absence by the school (surely this can be checked anyway), then find another way of getting help that doesn't involve the school.
Does the (presumably mandatory) student health insurance cover psych sessions off campus?

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:23 pm

Your friend had numerous screeners, meaning that 1) his resume, which are all hard statistics, are not bad; he received 4 callbacks from those screeners, meaning that 2) that his initial personality was enough of a driving force behind his hard statistics to earn him a callback (Yes, I know I know, some firms (depending on region and ranking) will sometimes give callbacks despite bad interviewing based solely on resume but some personality is ALWAYS involved, no matter what); he struck out at those 4 callbacks most likely due to one or both of the following factors: 1) he could not emphasize his resume and make it a backbone of a charismatic personality that people want to work with and/or 2) his timing was incorrect, he applied to a region where summer associate positions are few, - luck issues/failure to detect soft issues etc.

Generally, this is what plagues many individuals that strike out at OCI's. Due to whichever reason, this is now his reality. His acceptance of this reality will only occur once he can understand that by default of joining law school and entering into a competitive market, he releases control of a large portion of his career and his life (this is true for almost any industry and is part and parcel of becoming an adult) and an introspective re-analysis of what he possibly could have done to better his chances that he either chose not to do despite being conscious of those issues or simply failed to detect such issues and thus failed to correct them (also part and parcel of becoming an adult).

Practically, our friends help us grow because they encourage us to do accept and move on while re-analyzing our failures and learning from them. You are a good friend because you seek such an endeavor. No matter what, do not walk on tiptoes around him because he is expounding suicide as a way out. He needs you to be strong now, where he is weak. Always be open and available to him. Meanwhile, you need to go to a school counselor and talk to them about the best way to deal with such a situation. Expose your anxieties about revealing his identity because of the potential consequences. So become his intermediary between what he feels and what he needs. And then, while paying very close attention to the situation, follow your gut on what needs to be done. You are a law student, which means you must be relatively intelligent. Allow your emotions and intelligence to guide your choices now.

Good luck.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:42 pm

FFS, if you're worried about getting your friend help, just call your school's guidance counselor (or the Dean of Students' office) and anonymously ask if the school has a policy about forcing your friend to take a leave of absence if he is contemplating suicide. They're not going to lie to you. In any event, you need to get your friend help from somewhere, and you need to do it ASAP. A friend of mine from my section (fun, happy-go-lucky, serially high achieving Asian kid) committed suicide after he got his 1L grades, and every single one of us wished that we could have done something to prevent it. You can, and you should start by picking up the phone right now.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby 09042014 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who struck out like that too. He wound up going part time during 2L year so that he could have another crack at OCI. It worked out for him the second time. Your friend should do that, sounds like he could use some time off.


Wouldn't frame it like that. I am going through the same thing, and struck out the second time as well at a top 7 school, leading to even more serious thoughts of suicide. The part time thing would be good for your friend, but for the more intensive help he can get rather than the second shot at OCI. Unfortunately a lot of my journey was independent since my friends were completely unknowledgeable about mental illness, and it is rough as hell. In the end, the school supported me by suggesting part time so I can do more intensive therapy, which I continue to this day even though much less intense and depression has been managed. Not everything is all roses and sunshine, and things may still suck. I am possibly looking at striking out from Clerkships, and graduating w/out a job. So not sure can offer anything too optimistic at this time in my life.

Your support of your friend is really commendable. I wish had friends that I felt were just as considerate.


Top 7? LOL dood.

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Re: Friend Talking About Suicide After Striking Out At OCI

Postby sunynp » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:03 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know someone who struck out like that too. He wound up going part time during 2L year so that he could have another crack at OCI. It worked out for him the second time. Your friend should do that, sounds like he could use some time off.


Wouldn't frame it like that. I am going through the same thing, and struck out the second time as well at a top 7 school, leading to even more serious thoughts of suicide. The part time thing would be good for your friend, but for the more intensive help he can get rather than the second shot at OCI. Unfortunately a lot of my journey was independent since my friends were completely unknowledgeable about mental illness, and it is rough as hell. In the end, the school supported me by suggesting part time so I can do more intensive therapy, which I continue to this day even though much less intense and depression has been managed. Not everything is all roses and sunshine, and things may still suck. I am possibly looking at striking out from Clerkships, and graduating w/out a job. So not sure can offer anything too optimistic at this time in my life.

Your support of your friend is really commendable. I wish had friends that I felt were just as considerate.


Top 7? LOL dood.

What do you mean DF? This guy is sharing his experience about how devastating striking out can be. I didn't strike out but the reality of no job and debt for the rest of your life is extremely depressing. Look at thread of people who got no offered. Not having a job can kill soneone's self- esteem and create panic about the future.

I don't have any easy answers. I would advise most people in this situation to dropout, but few people are willing to give up on their dreams. Despite all the statistics, people still feel they have a good shot at big law and repaying their debt. There were under 5,000 big law jobs according to NALP data (though I think that number is low.) So not everyone who does everything right is going to be a winner in this system.

There really aren't enough jobs for everyone. Assuming that OPs friend did something wrong in an environment where only a percentage of people even with top credentials can't find anything is incorrect.




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