Common Myths About Suicide
There are many myths about suicide. One is the mistaken belief that talking about it to a person in danger encourages the act. If a loved one expresses thoughts or plans of suicide, it’s essential to initiate a conversation. It is wise to approach the discussion by identifying concrete resources such as a therapist or suicide prevention hotline, and to conclude the conversation with a stated commitment to follow up with the person over time.
Be direct with the person by asking the following questions:How are you coping with your challenges?
Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
Are you thinking about dying?
Are you thinking about suicide?
Have you come up with a plan for taking your own life?
Suicide MythPeople who talk about suicide are just trying to get attention.
Suicide FactPeople who die by suicide usually talk about it first. They are in pain and oftentimes reach out for help because they do not know what to do and have lost hope. Always take talk about suicide seriously. Always.
Suicide MythPeople who talk about wanting to die by suicide do not try to kill themselves.
Suicide FactPeople who talk about wanting to die by suicide oftentimes kill themselves.
Suicide MythSuicide always occurs without any warning signs.
Suicide FactThere are almost always warning signs.
Suicide MythOnce people decide to die by suicide, there is nothing you can do to stop them.
Suicide FactSuicide can be prevented. Most people who are suicidal do not want to die; they just want to stop their pain.
Suicide MythSuicide only strikes people of a certain gender, race, financial status, age, etc.
Suicide FactSuicide can strike anyone.
Suicide MythPeople who attempt suicide and survive will not attempt suicide again.
Suicide FactPeople who attempt suicide and survive will oftentimes make additional attempts.
Suicide MythPeople who attempt suicide are crazy.
Suicide FactNo, no, no. They are in pain, and probably have a chemical imbalance in their brain. Anyone could attempt suicide.————————————————————————————-
Suicide MythPeople who attempt suicide are weak.
Suicide FactNo, no, no. They are in pain and probably have a chemical imbalance in their brain. Many people who are very “strong” die by suicide.
Suicide MythPeople who talk about suicide are trying to manipulate others.
Suicide FactNo. People who talk about suicide are in pain and need help. And telling them that they “just want something” or “are trying to manipulate” is both insensitive and ignorant. People often talk about suicide before dying by suicide. Always take talk about suicide seriously. Always.
Suicide MythWhen people become suicidal, they will always be suicidal.
Suicide FactMost people are suicidal for a limited period of time. However, suicidal feelings can recur.
Suicide MythPeople who are suicidal definitely want to die.
Suicide FactThe vast majority of people who are suicidal do not want to die. They are in pain, and they want to stop the pain.
Suicide MythYou should never ask people who are suicidal if they are thinking about suicide or if they have thought about a method, because just talking about it will give them the idea.
Suicide FactAsking people if they are thinking about suicide does not give them the idea for suicide. And it is important to talk about suicide with people who are suicidal because you will learn more about their mindset and intentions, and allow them to diffuse some of the tension that is causing their suicidal feelings.
Suicide MythWhen people who are suicidal feel better, they are no longer suicidal.
Suicide FactSometimes suicidal people feel better because they have decided to die by suicide, and may feel a sense of relief that the pain will soon be over.
Suicide MythYoung people never think about suicide, they have their entire life ahead of them.
Suicide FactSuicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24. Sometimes children under 10 die by suicide.
Suicide MythThere is little correlation between alcohol or drug abuse and suicide.
Suicide FactOftentimes people who die by suicide are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Suicide MythPeople who are suicidal do not seek help.
Suicide FactMany people who are suicidal reach out for help.