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Old February 26th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Suicide Common Misconceptions, Information and Support

The following contains a new, revised version of all you need to know about suicide, its warning signs, misconceptions and how to receive support.

Suicide – Common Misconceptions, Information and Support

Suicide is never the answer. Death is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. No matter who you are, where you are or what you are dealing with, there is always help available when you seek it out. Whether you personally are suicidal or know a family member, friend or loved one dealing with suicidal thoughts, you are never alone.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. In the year 2000, 815,000 people lost their lives to suicide — more than double the number of people who die as a direct result of armed conflict every year (306,600). For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of disability and infirmity worldwide.”

General Misconceptions

“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

75% of the time, both successful and failed suicide attempts are almost always preceded by some sort of warning, no matter how small or seemingly mundane. Do not ignore suicide threads. Statements such as “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead”, “I can’t see a way out”, “no one would notice if I were gone anyway” may be covered by a laugh or a smile in a casual or joking situation but can be indicators or serious suicidal feelings.

Suicide is often also impulsive. Someone who seems the least likely to try to kill themselves can still do things others may never have thought of because of their nature or even a mask they hid behind.

“Suicide is a good last resort to whatever problems one faces.”

Suicide is NEVER the answer. It will not heal the pain or solve the problem. It takes away anymore opportunities to find something better in life. Life is precious, no matter what mistakes or events may have taken place. We can only strive to move past them and use them to our advantage to become stronger.

“Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.”

Psychosis, other mental illness or neurological conditions could all lead to suicide but are not the only reasons nor do these make someone “crazy”. Grief, extreme distress and emotional pain are something anyone can go through. It can be anything from severe depression, personality disorders or trauma to a bad break-up, a death in the family or social pressures that lead to thoughts of suicide.

“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”

Even someone who feels like they are death’s doorstep has mixed feelings about death. It is a natural instinct to try however hard to survive as long as you can. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop.

However, a loving family member, a close friend or trusted adult reaching out can mean the world to some people. Sometimes the simplest reminders of something special about their lives can stop them. Impulses are overpowering, yes, but not the be all and end all. That being said:

“People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.”

Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six months prior to their deaths.

Suicide victims may have also reached out in ways unnoticable to some or unexpected such as:

- hinting at suicidal ideals in conversation or through actions
- withdrawing in hopes someone may notice them without directly asking
- self-harming in order to express their pain in a way someone could see

The hardest part of getting help is asking for it. The first part is knowing you need help but actually getting it is another matter altogether. Many people think that asking for help is a weakness. On the contrary, being able to show that side of yourself to someone requires more strength in order to set aside worries of what people may think or what they may do.

“Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”

Suicide should not be a taboo in discussion. You don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. Likelihood is, those ideas are already there. However, talking about it shows the person that there is someone for them to seek support from. Telling someone you’re worried for them could be one of the most helpful things you could do without even realizing it.

“Someone only considers suicide because they are weak and a coward.”

You wouldn’t tell someone with any other kind of illness that they’re going to die because they are weak. They have fought, they have braved out the dark places, they have struggled. It takes a lot of strength to make it as far as a lot people do and it takes a lot of bravery to counter the fear that can come with the sadness of depression. Considering suicide does not make anyone any less of a person and more people have considered it than you may think.

What Can I Do To Help Someone Who May Be Suicidal?

1. It’s always serious.
“Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by those left behind after a suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it. Pain is not comparable.

2. It’s a cry for help.
If someone is still alive, that alone says that they want to live. They’re still here. They just don’t know how else to handle the cards being dealt to them. The part of the person that wants to live is the part that says “I’m feeling suicidal”, not the part that is considering suicide. Being unfamiliar with why someone may feel suicidal makes it very difficult to understand but if a suicidal person turns to you, they likely believe you know how to cope, are more informed on how to deal with misfortune and can offer them at least some support. The warning signs may be negative but the intention of putting them out there is positive — they want someone to help them.

3. Give and get help sooner rather than later!
Suicide prevention should not be a last minute activity. Just because it’s only in the “suicidal thoughts” stage does not mean it should make it any further than that. Suicide is fully preventable.

Find someone to listen or be that person. A helping hand and a shoulder to cry on is so much better than no one at all. Suicidal people may be afraid that saying anything may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, manipulative or overreacting; rejection or punishment; or, most of all, that they will be judged for how they feel. There are no magic words to make the pain go away. Sometimes advice, even given with the best intentions, can be counterproductive. Hear them out, be sympathetic and remember: hugs are brilliant.

Also, seek/urge professional help. There’s a common myth that professionals are only in it for the money. They are there to help you. Professionals have been trained to give you the best of their care and attention. It may take awhile to find a match — someone who “clicks” with you and you feel comfortable with. Don’t despair if you don’t find someone right away. There is always hope because the option of getting help will always be there.

There’s no need to go through any of this alone.

4. Recovery is possible.
For every successful suicide, there are 11 other failed attempts. Less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Many people will not succeed which leaves them every opportunity to recover. Recovery may be slow and relapse of certain behaviours is common but that’s not to discourage recovery. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that can be improved or dealt with entirely with time or assistance of a recovery program.

Suicide Warning Signs

• Appearing depressed or sad most of the time. (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
• Withdrawing from family and friends.
• Feeling hopeless.
• Feeling helpless.
• Feeling strong anger or rage.
• Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation.
• Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
• Exhibiting a change in personality.
• Losing interest in most activities.
• Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
• Experiencing a change in eating habits.
• Losing interest in most activities.
• Performing poorly at work or in school.
• Giving away prized possessions.
• Writing a will.
• Talking or writing about death or suicide.
• Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
• Death or terminal illness of a relative or friend.
• Divorce, separation, a broken relationship or family stress.
• Loss of health (real or imaginary).
• Loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem, personal security.
• Recent trauma.

Some more serious suicidal behaviours may include:

• Abusing drugs or alcohol.
• Self-inflicted injuries such as cuts, burns or head-banging.
• Impulsive self-destructive actions
• Acting recklessly
• Previous suicide attempts, “mini attempts”.
• Developing a plan, acquiring the means, “rehearsal behaviour”, setting a time for the attempt.

These websites will help you even more understanding suicide:

Coping With Someone’s Suicide

Sometimes, when suicide is successful, it leaves the rest of us in the dark, not sure what to do now. Sometimes, it can cause our own depression. But remember, there is always support. Many of the things discussed in this thread can help as well when it comes to losing someone to suicide or if you know someone who has recently experienced the suicide of a loved one.

Many local helplines (attached below) can refer you to support groups and therapies to deal with the loss.

For extra support, see this thread on grief.

Helplines and International Support

Attached to this thread is a massive compilation of helplines around the world in PDF format to have on hand. Never be afraid to ask for help, whether anonymously or not. Enclosed are helplines for almost any type of support you can think of.

Even more helplines can be found in this post.

Stay strong and remember that there are always options other than suicide.


The original “Suicide” sticky.
Val (xXl0sth0peXx) and Mike (ImCoolBeans) for editing and making adjustments.

Last edited by Deleted User; February 26th, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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