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Restoring Hope After a Loved Ones Suicide

Myths About Suicide

FACT: The most recent statistics in the USA 2013: a suicide death happens every 12.8 minutes. There were 41,149 reported suicides; this does not include those reported as accidents, or suicide-by-cop, etc. Fable: People who talk about suicide won't do it. They just want attention. Fact: Of any ten persons who kill themselves, eight have given a definite warning of their suicide intentions. Fable: Mentioning suicide may give the person the idea. Fact: Asking someone if they’re suicidal will not give them an idea they haven’t thought about already. Most suicidal people are truthful and relieved when questioned about their feelings and intentions. Doing so can be the first step in helping them to choose to live. If you think someone is considering suicide, please try to talk to them. Fable: Suicide occurs without warning. Fact: Studies reveal that the suicidal person gives many clues and warnings regarding his suicidal intentions, sometimes for many  years.  Fable: All suicidal persons are mentally ill, suicide is the act of a psychotic person. Fact: Studies of hundreds of genuine suicide notes indicate that although the suicidal person is extremely unhappy, anxious and upset, not all persons who take their lives could be diagnosed as mentally ill. Fable: Suicidal tendencies are inherited or "run in the family". Fact: There is no firm evidence that the propensity toward suicide is passed down genetically. The phenomenon sometimes seen of suicide "running in a family" seems to be due to learned behavior rather than inherited tendencies. Fable: Once people are suicidal, they always will be, and they are beyond help. Fact: The suicidal crisis is generally of a brief duration and if intervention and therapy occur, the person may never again seriously contemplate suicide. It is true, however, that about 10% of the persons who attempt suicide eventually take their lives. Fable: Suicidal persons are completely committed to dying. Fact: The dominant feeling of most suicidal persons is ambivalence. They want to die, but they also want to live. Fable: It is not a suicide if there is no note. Fact: Only about 1/3 of the persons who take their lives leave a suicide note. Fable: When depression lifts, the suicide crisis is over. Fact: The greatest danger of suicide is in the first three months following a deep depression. The happiness and peace of mind exhibited by some persons as they come out of a depression actually results from the fact that they have finally "resolved" their crisis by deciding to take their lives. Fable: The poor and the rich are the most likely to destroy themselves. Fact: Suicide is neither the rich man's disease nor the poor man's curse. Suicide is very "democratic" and is represented proportionately among all levels of society. Fable: People who are alcoholics do not usually commit suicide. Fact: There is a very high correlation between alcoholism and suicide, with an estimated 1/5th of all alcoholics ending their lives by suicide. Many people who are not alcoholics drink heavily prior to killing themselves. Fable: Suicidal people do not seek out medical help. Fact: Several studies have indicated that as many as 75% of persons who take their lives visited a physician within three months prior  to the suicide. Fable: Professional people do not commit suicide. Fact: There are high suicide rates among cops, physicians, dentists, pharmacists and lawyers. Contrary to another fable, dentist do not have the highest suicide rate among professionals. Fable: December has the highest suicide rate of any month. Fact: December has the lowest rate. April and May have the highest rate. Fable: Suicide is the unpardonable sin. Fact: Though this has been taught by various groups within the church, it is based on the notion that sins have to be forgiven prior to death or be expressed to people before death. The unpardonable sin is the refusal of the gift of salvation. Fable: The highest suicide rate is among teens. Fact:  The highest suicide rate is among white males, over 55.  Fable: Pre-teens won’t attempt suicide.  Fact: Kids as young as 8 or 9 can get severely depressed. There’s a strong link between bullying and suicide, for the victim as well as   the bully. Fable: It’s best not to tell anyone if someone tells me they’re suicidal.  Fact: Never, ever keep anyone’s suicidal thoughts a secret; not yours, and not someone else. Friends never keep deadly secrets! Even with all the facts and fables we still need to have the knowledge to intervene in the area of suicide. Suicide awareness needs to be part of our culture. (With the exception of the last three Fables, this was taken from Facts and Fables about suicide, according to Bill Blackburn, author of What You Should Know About Suicide, p.44-47 and from Some Facts About Suicide by E.S. Shneidman and N.L. Farberow, WA. D.C., PHS Pub. No.852, U.S.Govt. printing office, 1961- somewhat outdated, but still true.)  Fact: Suicide Survivor: has lost a loved one to suicide.  Attempter: person that attempted suicide but lived.
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