Myths Surround SuicIde. Let’s Get it Right.

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

With an increase in suicides lately, we need preparation to understand and respond to what so many are suffering. Myths surrounding suicide are unfortunate and dangerous. As seen here and here, stigma matters, and the truth saves lives.

MYTHS

Most suicides occur in winter months, especially around the holidays. Actually, both adult and youth suicides tend to increase in the spring and summer months. November-January record the lowest suicide rates.

Only certain types of people become suicidal.  Superficial factors do not automatically separate a person from suicide. Neither does mental illness, not even depression.

Suicide is painless. Trying to harm one’s body and end life is often very painful.

Suffering long-term or repeated depression, or dying by suicide is proof of selfishness, self-pity, lack of faith, or a flawed character.  With what we know about the brain and its function in mental health and mood disorders, it’s unfair to equalize depression or suicide with weakness in any area of personality.  

Expressing intense emotions is the same as losing control. It is necessary to get intense feelings out in safe places. Depression can be expressed as irritability especially among young people and men.

People who talk about suicide won’t do it. Truly suicidal people keep it to themselves. Almost everyone who attempts or completes suicide has given warning. Suicide threats and hints are not to be ignored. Know the warning signs.

Only experts can stop suicide.  If you find yourself with someone in the process of or planning to act on suicidal thoughts, first call 9.1.1.  As much as possible, remove all lethal items from the area. People who are thinking about suicide have mixed feelings, even up to the last minute.

Talking about suicide might make someone consider it. Everyone knows suicide exists; asking about or discussing suicide will not give a person the idea. The opposite is true. Those in great emotional turmoil want someone to show they care. Talking about suicide brings relief, not distress. It lowers anxiety.

People who attempt suicide and do not die are “just” trying to get attention and are not really serious. Seeking attention IS seeking help and vice versa! If needs are unmet to the degree one would go to such an extreme, help and attention are obviously needed.

Some attempts do not end in death because the lethality of the means was overestimated, or access to more lethal means was denied. Some suicide deaths are averted because of interruptions. Any attempt, regardless of severity, must be taken seriously.

Only half of people who struggle with a mood disorder receive treatment due to inaccessibility, unaffordability, stigma against treatment, and lack of knowledge about their condition and treatment options. Substance use is also a major contributor to completed suicide.

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 15:7 AMP

The lips of the wise spread knowledge [sifting it as chaff from the grain];
But the hearts of [shortsighted] fools are not so.

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.

*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188, per BibLe Gateway. All rights reserved. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/

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