Suicide & the 7 Deadly Myths
We recently lost another dear soul to suicide. Over the years I have known several people who have struggled with suicide. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all will struggle with depression at least once in our lives. First, there is NO SHAME in this for it is part of the human condition. Rarely does anyone live a fairy tale life. Among other goals, I want the MakeTrix to be a source of help & hope for those who are struggling. If only 1 life is saved and nothing more then that is of greater importance to me than all worldly goals combined. One key to preventing suicide is to dispel the 7 misconceptions about suicide.
People who talk about suicide do not commit suicide.
Approximately 80% of all suicides are indicated in advance by definite warning signs, including verbal statements. Anyone who is talking about suicide is a suicide risk.
There is nothing you can do to stop someone from taking his/her own life.
Most suicidal people are unsure & uncertain about seeking death. In fact, they will respond favorably to therapeutic efforts.
Once a person becomes suicidal, the risk of suicide is always there.
For most people, their suicidal states are definitely time-limited.
Once a person’s mood improves, the risk of suicide is over.
Most suicides occur within 90 days after the clinical picture begins to improve.
Suicide is more common among the poor (or among the rich).
Suicide occurs at approximately the same rate in all socio-economic groups.
Suicide runs in families.
Regarding families, there are no specific genetic determinants of suicide.
A suicidal person must be clinically, medically, & mentally ill. There is something shamefully wrong with them.
Wrong! Most people who commit suicide are not psychotic and many are not psychiatrically ill.
Hope Through Support
Family members and friends can play a significant role in preventing suicide. Strong social support is known to lower suicide risk. By knowing the myths & truths, friends & family can be better prepared to identify and help a loved one struggling with suicidal thoughts. Chance favors the prepared mind. I was going to post statistics about suicide in this post but believe it will serve a greater purpose in a separate post.
Help for the Hurting
Please remember, there is NO SHAME in feeling depressed, hopeless, unloved, worthless, etc. Do not put yourself in a “defining box”. Few of us reach our dreams & goals. I have worked with the homeless and I once had an IT engineer tell me that anyone who is homeless deserves it because they are lazy. Sadly, this engineer was poorer, in spirit, than any homeless person I have known. He never met the former Army Ranger NON-COM turned depressed, homeless man that I worked with. In a short period of time he encountered 3 life tragedies/crises that he had no control over. The end result was that he became homeless. What is my point? My point is that all of us are but 1-4 life crises away from being homeless and/or distraught. We seldom have control over the tragedies that befall us. We all breathe the same air, we all have imaginations & dreams, we all have or will suffer failures & trials, etc. The troubles will pass. And there are people who care. Do not give up!
- Everyone who has lived, is living, or will live on Earth is important. We all have a purpose be it small or large.
- Through hardships, a person can get mentally into a deep, dark hopeless pit in which suicide appears to be the only answer. Depression & hopelessness are temporal. A Psychology Professor I once knew told me that if many of those who committed suicide had waited for a time, their hopelessness would have subsided and they would not feel compelled to kill themselves.
- First and foremost, if you are contemplating suicide, talk to your family and your friends. A true friend will listen and be there for you. Do not keep it to yourself. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
- National Suicide Prevention Life-Line 800-273-TALK (8255): The people at the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine are available 24/7 to help those who are struggling with suicide and family/friends concerned about a suicidal loved one. For U.S. Veterans, all you need due is dial the number and then Press 1. For non-veterans, call the number and wait for the next available counselor.
- Suicide.Org maintains phone listings of all U.S. national organizations & hotlines for suicide prevention & care. For example, here is their listing for the State of Ohio.
- Seek the help of a trained professional. Psychologists & Psychiatrists are trained to help people struggling with troubles, depression, & hardships. A trained professional can work wonders by just being there for you to talk to one on one. Remember, you are not crazy because you are struggling with suicidal thoughts.