Written by Alanna Gardner, MFT
Suicide is something that can happen to anyone but is hardly ever talked about. We never think that anyone we know would take their own life but it happens, so much so that suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. With today being World Suicide Prevention Day, TheUrbanRealist.com wanted to do our part by shedding light on 4 totally untrue myths about suicide.
“They have their entire life ahead of them, they would never try to kill themselves”
We tend to think that suicide is only for people who are old, miserable, and have nothing to live for. But even if someone is young and has what seems to be a promising life ahead of them doesn’t mean they don’t have suicidal thoughts or tendencies. As I stated before suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people. Suicide is about relieving pain, despair and hopelessness; people who attempt suicide can’t see the hope in their lives.
“Anyone who thinks about suicide actually wants to go through it’
FALSE! Mostly everyone has or will at some point have a passive suicidal ideation (thought). Passive suicidal ideation is when you have thoughts of suicide without a plan to take your own life. You could be going through a tough breakup, someone close to you has died or you’re just having a really shitty year and you think “UGH I wish I were dead!” but those thoughts soon pass. Also people who have active suicidal ideation (those who have thoughts and have a plan) want to relieve the pain in their life. Suicide is always a last resort, if presented with effective options a person will choose life.
“Asking someone if they’re suicidal puts the thought into their head”
Someone who is suicidal already has the thoughts in their head whether you mention it or not. By being willing to talk about it with them or asking them if they have those thoughts can lead to them feeling open enough to discuss how they are feeling which in turn may relieve some of the pain that they are feeling. Be empathetic, listen, and non judgmental; restoring their hope by doing those things can make all of the difference.
“They are just begging for attention”
This one annoys me the most. Although some have probably tried this as a way to get attention, suicide is not to be taken lightly under any circumstance. EVER. I don’t care if you think the person is a drama queen or the boy who cried wolf, suicide is a serious matter and should always be handled accordingly. A lot of times people may be attention seeking to get help or because they are in deed going through a difficult time. Be willing to listen when no one wants to, offer help when everyone else seems to busy to care, and be a lifeline of hope; you could be saving a life.