5 Common Myths About Suicide Exploded

By Greg Weber

Suicide. Most of us know little to nothing about this tragedy. What we think we know is also probably wrong.  More than a million people all over the world die by suicide each year. Suicide risk is partly genetic and often accompanies agonizing mental problems.

Suicide isn't cowardly, vengeful, or selfish. It's not about "suppressed rage". Many threats of suicide are eventually followed by successful attempts.

A few problems with some common myths about suicide:

Suicidal people are crazy: Actually, they're just in a lot of pain. You don't have to be drunk, psychotic, demented, or delirious to be suicidal.

It's only a cry for help: People who talk about suicide often do kill themselves. It's pretty useless as a risk indicator.

People who want to kill themselves are just trying to manipulate others: These people really need help. They're unwell. Saying they're "just trying to get something out of it" is ignorant and insensitive.

It happens without any warning signs: There are almost always warning signs.

Kids never think about doing it: Does a child of 10 count? Suicide's the 3rd leading cause of death for youth aged 15-24.

What I hope for is a more balanced, compassionate view. Let's foster empathy and education instead of ignorance and judgement.

Why learning the facts helps others and even saves lives:

Wanting to die means you're in pain: People who think death is their only option are suffering terribly. They're deeply troubled and deserve help.

Take the talk seriously: If you believe someone is suicidal, urge them to call 911 or go to their local emergency room. Encourage them to call a suicide hotline like 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

View them with compassion: Wanting to die is burden enough for these poor people. They shouldn't carry the weight of our combined judgement as well.

Look for red flags: There are almost always signs that someone is suicidal. We often just don't see them. Warning signs include talking or writing about killing or harming yourself, talking a lot about / obsessed with death, and seeking out dangerous pastimes like drugs or guns.

Educate your children: Young people should be taught that feeling suicidal isn't shameful. They should be encouraged to talk about these feelings, as much for our own well-being as for theirs.

Unbearable suffering is what suicide tries to escape. A suicidal person can't imagine relief except through death, yet most suicidal people are conflicted about ending their lives. They may not really want to die, but to have the painful feelings stop. They want an alternative they often just can't see.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Greg Weber writes and blogs about phobia and anxiety disorders and is especially interested in helping people with driving anxiety. Sign up for the Driving Peace newsletter for more tips and advice about overcoming driving phobia. http://www.drivingpeace.com/free-report/

Article Source: 5 Common Myths About Suicide Exploded

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