Myths and Facts about Suicide: How Much Do You Know?
It’s amazing how people are quick to judge those who contemplate suicide labeling them as cowards, weak, seeking attention and other names which are untrue. What we don’t know in effect is that when we label them such names, we are speeding their want to commit suicide. It’s best to have a glimpse about suicide in order to be in a position to understand and ultimately, help them.
If you went through something hurting or something challenging or had a difficulty and you overcame it or succeeded, it is not good to call those who feel they cannot go on to bear the difficulties, the pain and such as cowards and that they need to grow up and stop acting like babies. We are not the same. If you overcame it, someone else will find a difficulty in overcoming it.
There are factors that increase the risk of a person to want to commit suicide such as the environment he grew in, starting with his/her family, her neighborhood and school she attended. Was their always violence between his parents? Was he a victim of bullying at school or in the neighborhood? Other factors such as the person’s characteristic traits also play a role such as being sensitive and having low self-esteem, and other emotional problems such as depression.
Therefore, it’s important for us to become part of the solution instead of standing on the side, raising our voice, pointing our fingers ready to utter words which aren’t beneficial.
Myth 10: Those Who Want To Commit Suicide Are Seeking Attention
This is not true. If I want to end my life I don’t want to seek anyone’s attention. The reason why I’m telling you why I want to commit suicide is because I want your help, your advice, to show me if it’s okay to end my life or how I can conquer what am going through. I want to die but there is something that’s telling me there’s hope though am not sure. But, how can I know there is hope, if I feel I’m alone and nobody cares about me?
Myth 9: People Who Want To Commit Suicide Want You to Feel Sorry For Them
Never feel sorry for a person contemplating suicide. This will only make them the more to want to end their lives because they will feel pathetic, hopeless, helpless and that you a ‘poor’ and ‘pity’ creature. Sorry doesn’t enter anywhere here. What matters is: Are you concerned? Do you really care? Do you understand what they are going through? Are you able to help, to offer the way?
Myth 8: At Times People Who Contemplate Suicide Have No Warning Signs
This is not the case. Before a person contemplates suicide, he/she will give clear indications he is leaving this world for good. Once you see the warning signs, you should take the right steps to help the person including taking him to the doctor or counselor to be helped.
The warning signs you should watch out for are such as:
- Always saying he wants to die, he is tired of life, he sees no good in this world.
- When he says he cannot bear the emotions he is undergoing any longer.
- Starts behaving awkwardly such as use of drug abuse or alcohol, or increases the intake of alcohol.
- Acting nervous or anxious.
- Driving a car in a reckless or careless manner – dangerously.
- Withdrawing from social contacts and wanting to be alone.
- Has no interest of things that matters to him.
- He has mood swings which vary and are usually intense
- Suddenly changing his behavior such as, all of a sudden becoming happy for no particular reason.
- Arranging and setting things in order
- Visiting his friends and telling them goodbye
- Giving his things away to others even those that were special to him
- Always thinks about death
Myth 7: Removing Dangerous Weapons Is Useless because they’ll Find Other Ways to Commit Suicide
While it may be true, a case here is that you will have given them some time to think of another way to commit suicide. Therefore, during this period whereby they are devising on how to end their lives you will have prolonged their lives by which time you will have known what to do.
Weapons or tools such as guns, ropes and other such objects should be kept far away from them.
Myth 6: The Mentally Ill Are the Ones Who Commit Suicide
When I wanted to end my life I wasn’t mentally ill. I was not depressed to the point of being hospitalized or taken to a doctor. It’s the feelings of childhood that all of a sudden started flooding in my mind. It’s not all those who want to end their lives are mentally ill or have mental problems.
Myth 5: Those Who Want To End Their Lives Are Determined To End It
While it’s true they want to die, they always give indications they want to do so but want someone to help them in whatever way. They want to die but at the same time they really don’t want to. If they feel nobody takes notice of their situation meaning nobody cares what they are going through, then they will commit suicide. That’s why when you notice the warning signs take immediate steps to help the person.
Myth 4: They Are Cowards
Wanting to end their lives because they are running away from the problem instead of facing them is a sure sign the person is a coward. Isn’t it? Not true. Consider this: A 30-years-old lady while growing up as a child was sexually molested by her father. Whether he was sexually abused once, twice or several years doesn’t matter because the child grew up feeling unworthy, a reject and filthy. In teenage years maybe she suppressed those emotions. However in her late twenties she couldn’t bear them anymore. They were flooding her mind. That is not being coward. It’s that the feelings are too intense she doesn’t know how to control them. This is why they feel utter worthless and helpless and hopeless.
At times they don’t have the confident quality you possess, have low self-esteem which makes them not able to bear the pain, not to hope for another day – they don’t see the way through. We are not all the same but as humans I know we want to help each other, why don’t you take that step?
Myth 3: It Affects a Specific Gender, Race, Tribe or Age
Suicide is not a respecter of any person. Children as young as ten have committed suicide. If one was to look at statistics of suicides all over the world, one would find those from late thirties to sixties form the higher percentage especially from fifties. But, then if you look at some countries you will notice the youth from the higher percentage. We all have feelings and when they are too much, what can we do because they are painful and torment and torture us day-in-and-day-out?
Myth 2: Asking Those Who Want To Commit Suicide If They Think Of Contemplating Suicide Is Not Right or Which Method They Devised To Carry Out the Act
Remember, people who want to commit suicide want more than anything else someone to lend an ear. As long as they know someone cares, someone loves them, they feel they belong somewhere, that someone shares their feelings of what they are going through, then they will know there is hope.
I dint have somebody to share want I was going through while I had the suicidal thoughts as a student in high school. Although nobody in my family noticed I was so quiet than normally I am, and withdrawn than normally I am, the feelings seemed to have subsided. The problem: they resurfaced several years ago in my late twenties. I am sensitive, therefore it’s easy to get hurt and the feelings seem to return. I feel I’m no good, I’m ugly, unwanted, a failure (actually I feared passing exams in high school) and such negative thoughts. The only thing that helped me was reading inspirational messages especially those that were targeted at people contemplating suicide. Thanks to the Internet where I read such information, I’m not sure if I would be alive. And, I am always thankful to God.
One thing to note some will recover after being helped while for others the thoughts would seem to recur again and again at different times in the person’s life. Therefore, there’s the possibility the person will end his life when the thoughts reoccur or when they occur again he will know how to face because he was helped in the first instance.
There is nothing wrong asking them if they want to die. They will open up and say why they want to die. And, they will ask whether there is hope? They want help, try to offer it even if it’s encouraging and uplifting their spirits. Ask them which method they have devised to use. Whether they have a method in mind or not, take fast action on what to do in order to help them.
Remember, listening and listening and listening is very important than talking especially talking in a negative manner.
Myth 1: There Is Nothing That Can Be Done To Stop Them
There is. It can be prevented. When you notice the warning signs, take action by sitting down with them and talking things through. Don’t be judgmental, don’t condemn or rebuke them. If you do so, you are hurting them the more and lowering the low confidence they have.
After listening to them, offering messages of hope and how they can deal with the situation, how you can help; you will be in a better position to know what needs to be done. At times you might refer the case to their parents (of which they may hate you but you did the right thing) or take them to the doctor or counselor.
Countless have been saved from ending their lives because there are people who cared to take time to listen to their feelings and help them.
It makes me sad, makes me lose appetite for food and at times my eyes becoming misty when I see how people are quick to judge them, how people judge them when they don’t understand them or what they are going through, when people mock them, when people label them names, and when people appear to be indifferent. How does that help in any way? Think about it!