The phone call came from a rabbi friend of mine.
“Joe is dead, and they believe it was a suicide.”
My reaction was typical for my personality. I asked the rabbi some basic questions, expressed my sympathies without becoming overly emotional, and then I obsessed.
Joe had been a client of mine for close to a year. It all began with some testing required by Joe’s school because he was having difficulty, both academically and socially. The testing revealed that Joe possessed superior intelligence, but he also had a strong tendency to misread social cues. This led to social alienation and feelings of inferiority. Joe was becoming more and more reserved, which concerned his parents to the point of referring him for therapy. His interests had become narrower, and he seemed to take very little pleasure in activities that he once enjoyed. His siblings and friends had also noticed the change, but were too afraid or ambivalent to get involved.