Common Misconceptions About Suicide
The following are common misconceptions about Suicide from the NAMI ADVOCATE
- "People who talk about suicide won't really do it."
Almost everyone who committs or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," -- no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
- "Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy."
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or dispairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
- "If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her."
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last momemt between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impluse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
- "People who committ suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help."
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths.
- "Talking about suicide may give someone the idea."
You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true --bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.