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Missing Persons: when you can't find a headmate, or they go deep

This article is a .

Subjectively Experienced as

Headmates "dying New" (in any way), needing a break, going away, disappearing, not able to find a headmate…describe how it feels/appears. They don't respond to roll-calls or pings etc.

Sometimes they leave with fanfare or decide to leave, sometimes others just can't find them no matter how they try to look for them.

Sometimes Caused by…

Burnout New, despair, major depression, sudden loss, deep disappointment, or other major mental/emotional turmoil.


They usually come back… can be days, weeks, months or years later.

Sometimes they come back changed.

More at Resident Reappearance New.


It's good to work on Emotional Regulation New and presence techniques New. Many times this happens due to burnout New and the best advice we have for that is to learn about recognizing panic reactions New so that y'all can tell when you're running yourselves into the ground, also important is knowing about shame New and how shame cycles can cause self-harm of various sorts (direct & indirect self-harm — where indirect self-harm would be perfectionism, procrastination, denial, workaholism, etc.).

When someone goes missing

Sometimes residents can't be found in one's head. This can be extremely disconcerting for all parties involved.

Having one or more residents go missing is just like looking around to find that one or more members of your family has suddenly vanished without leaving a note or saying anything. When this happens, it might only be annoying, or it might be very traumatic.

Taking steps to keep this from happening, if it's a problem, is the best solution.

Just like in a family, the simplest way of limiting this from happening is to have House Rules that anyone who is going somewhere let others know what they are doing. If the resident leaving is trustworthy and the system's structure allows, this may be as simple as telling one other person that they are going to be unreachable for a while. It may be as complex as having to appear before a council with a detailed report of the planned activities while they are out of touch if more restrictions are in place.

Sometimes, the resident doesn't want anyone to know where they've gone or leaving word isn't an option.

MissingElves - a personal perspective by Doltaghey House

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