The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 5, 1984 - Page 5
Depression common, suicides rare at 'U'
By ELIZABETH REISKIN
While depression is a very common
experience among the general
p Aulation, suicidal behavior is a
distinct and relatively rare
phenomenon, according to Evelyn
Gauthier, a clinical psychologist for the
University student counseling office.
moiato f or
RA 's suicide
(Continied from Page 1)
as Sunday night, she. was dealing with
residents' concerns, dealing with house
business, and generally being a very
participatory and active staff mem-
ber," said John Heidke, associate
. Mary Antieau, South Quad's building
director, said "there just didn'tseem to
by any clear indication that there was
a atything big (wrong)."
IN SOME of these cases, you never
k tow why,"she said.
kIn fact, Duffy's credentials and per-
f rmance in the first five weeks of her
j(b showed only that she was an out-
s anding RA, these officials said.
,Before being an RA she had done
volunteer work for the Public Interest
research Group in Michigan and was
t e chairperson of the Couzens Hall
lcoming committee one year. She
a o' was on a business internship
pfogram last summer and two sum-
njs .ago worked as a counselor at a
Sc p for the mentally impaired.
"THERE IS everything to indicate
that she would be a prime and excep-
tional RA," Heidke said.
Both officials said that the death was
not an indication of problems within the
housing system. Both felt that the
amount of crisis and advisory training
given resident advisors is adequate.
"Are we going to keep looking at
stress and how we handle it? Yes," said
Heidke. "We always have and will con-
tinue to. Will we double our efforts? No.
We are doing as much as we can.'
Meanwhile, residents of Thronson
House who did not know of the death
were informed late Wednesday night
and yesterday morning.
Housing officials trained as coun-
selors and officials from University
counseling services stayed in South
Quad Wednesday and yesterday to aid
Cassette player stolen
A cassette player, book bag and radio
headset were stolen during a break-in
on the 500 block of North Division, Ann
Arbor Police Sgt. Jan Suomala said
yesterday. The items were valued at
less than $125, he said.
According to Suomala, the break-in
Occurred between 7 and 9 p.m. Oct. 2.
Entry was gained through an unlocked
door, he said.
A man was the target of an attempted
armed robbery early yesterday in the
Diag, Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Jan
The man was approached at about
12:30 a.m. by three Hispanic males, as
he was crossing the Diag, Suomala
The assailants pulled out a four- or
five-inch knife and attempted to rob
him. The three men also, reportedly
tried to coax an Irish Setter into at-
tacking the man but the dog refused to
The man ignored the would-be rob-
bers, and left the Diag. "I guess they
jpst went their way and he went his," he
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Signs of depression often include
changes in sleeping or eating patterns
and perhaps even neglect for one's
health, she said. It may or may not in-
clude overt signs of sadness; some
people who are depressed just look
numb, she said.
SHE described depression as an "in-
ternal feeling of a subjective. sense 'of
loss, and sense of failure."
"When you have a very competitive
population like (the University), a B
can seem like a failure," she said.
Although many people believe that
suicidal behavior is the deep-end of
depression, Gauthier said that it is
really a very distinct attitude.
Depressed people recognize that their
feelings are temporary, while suicidal
individuals tend to feel that their con-
dition is permanent, she said.
"It's a sense of despair," she said.
"(But) it has a sense of time about it,
that life is hard and it's never going to
get any better."
EXTERNAL pressures make a dif-
ference in both depression and suicidal
behavior, but they are not what creates
despair, she said.
The important factor is how people
interpret those pressures. The same
pressures can challenge one person and
cause despair in another.
"The presence of pressure is not what
makes people depressed. "It's their
own internal interpretations."
SHE SAID that the best way to
prevent depression and suicidal
behavior is to provide a strong support
system of friends and relatives which
people in stressful situations can fall
"With every challenge we offer
people, we need to offer them supports,
too . . . most of what we know about
student suicides is that they tend to be
students who focus a lot on academic
achievement but are less well connec-
"My hunch 'is - particulary from
what I know about South Quad - that
there is also a tremendous amount of
esprit de corps. . . from what I've seen
on this campus the support is there."
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During your last two years in college the Navy pays for uniforms,
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Call your Navy representative for more information on this
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