Saturday, February 16, 2008
My last comment on the Bridgend suicides took it for granted that this was, indeed, a group phenomenon. Local worthies denied this. Improbable then, now, with two more hangings, this denial has become absurd. Doubtless, we'll now get more anguished features about the bleakness of Bridgend and more psychiatrists intoning about self-esteem problems in teenagers. I've never been to Bridgend but I suspect it's no bleaker than anywhere else and self-esteem is a grotesque red herring. As I have written, its importance is little more than a consoling psychobabble myth. No, all that matters here is the fact that this is a group phenomenon. If we want to understand this - and, if my daughter was still a teenager, I would - then we should start and end with the dynamics of the group. But that's complicated so we probably won't.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:38 am