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Myths about Suicide

Margit Cathrine Moller

As we celebrate today the World Suicide Prevention Day, let us revisit the common myths about suicide and reestablish the fact.

Myth: “People have to be crazy or mentally ill to consider suicide.”

Fact: Most people all over the world have thought of suicide at one time or another. But most successful suicides and failed ones are made by intelligent and normal human beings who were temporarily confused. These are people who push themselves so hard that they think they are complete failures.

Myth: “Discussing about suicide or reading about it will give persons a bad idea.”

Fact: Talking about suicide is often helpful. It provides a sense of better perspective to the person and opens a discussion about hope and the possibility of help. So, do not be afraid to talk about it. Open the topic but in a manner that will not put the person to a defensive position.

Myth: “Once somebody attempted suicide and failed, he will not do it again.”

Fact: Studies show that people often attempt suicide up to four times. So, it is not safe to assume that because a family member attempted and failed that that person will not do it again.

Myth: “If someone is seriously considering suicide, you cannot help him.”

Fact: Suicide crisis points are temporary and time-bound. These fluctuate and are often products of unclear thinking. So, every second is an opportunity to help. Most suicides can be prevented by sensitive responses to the person in crisis.

What should you do?

1. Stay focused and remain cool and calm.
2. Listen and provide emotional support for his or her feelings.
3. Deal directly with the topic of suicide. Talk about it.
4. Explore alternatives to the problem. Help the person seek solutions.
5. Get assistance. Seek professional help or go call the police. Do whatever you have to do so that the person will not succeed.