Myths and misconceptions about suicide

suicide is a selfish act

SUICIDE IS A SELFISH ACT

Individuals who experience suicidal ideations do not do so by choice. They are not simply ‘thinking of themselves’.

Many people who attempt suicide feel they are a ‘burden’ to others, and that their friends and family would be ‘better off’ without them.

While some people recognise that their death may cause their loved one’s pain, they may also believe they are causing more pain by being alive. They rationalise suicide as a way to protect those they care about. In their mind suicide as quite selfless.

suicidal behaviour is manipulative or attention seeking

SUICIDAL BEHAVIOUR IS MANIPULATIVE OR ATTENTION-SEEKING.

All suicidal talk and behaviours demand attention by way of a compassionate and immediate response.

Some people threaten or attempt suicide as a desperate plea to let others know they are in pain, not coping and need help. They may not know any other ways to express these feelings or believe that no one cares or can help.

Individuals in suicidal crisis need attention and support, regardless of how they express this need.

Expressions of pain, suffering or suicidality must not be trivialised or minimalised.

Not addressing a ‘cry for help’ can have tragic consequences.

someone who is suicidal wants to die

SOMEONE WHO IS SUICIDAL WANTS TO DIE AND WILL ALWAYS FEEL THAT WAY.

 The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are often short-term and situation-specific, therefore not permanent.

People who attempt suicide are often ambivalent about their decision. The co-existence of opposing and conflicting feelings can be confusing. They may not really want to die, rather they want to bring an end to the pain or conflict and see suicide as the only option.

For those with mental illness, the proper treatment can help to reduce symptoms. Likewise, receiving emotional support and the development of positive coping methods can lead to individuals who have experienced suicidal behaviour, living a long, healthy life.