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Myths and Facts about Suicide: How Much Do You Know?

Updated on February 12, 2015

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?

teenage angst, suicide
teenage angst, suicide | Source

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?

teenage suicide
teenage suicide | Source

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!


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    • Ben716 profile image

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 2 years ago from Kenya

      Thank you Bob...I agree with you it's scary when those who commit suicide don't know if there's after life or see the length of time and eternity is too long, and if they have not accepted the free gift of salvation. Also those who are unsure, more often they fear contemplating it

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Suicide is scary. I think that at one time or another most people contemplate what the world would be like without them. It is just that eternity after death is such a long time. The unsureness of what follows is enough to stop many of them. But those who don't think about the consequences of suicide and if they have come to Jesus for salvation or not... that is scary. It was on my mind as I stared at the train coming and me standing on the bridge ready to jump in its path. This was a thought-provoking piece. I voted up and useful. Bob

    • Ben716 profile image

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 2 years ago from Kenya

      Thank you Denise and Kiss & Tales. Many people seem to fake a smile when they're hurting. Those who are contemplating suicide should seek help even those depressed even though it appears hard to take that step.

      It was wonderful to learn how large the capacity of our brain is. And we use a small fraction. We should not let those negative thoughts to take control of our lives. It's not easy but we should try to concentrate on positive things and that we are unique and there is a purpose for us here on earth.

      Thank you for your comments, it's also an encouragement to me. The more reason I should always smile and face the next day. Thank you again.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      Ben very informative hub of what is really going on in some people's minds ,who have become very depressed and even worse do not know how to close these thoughts down in their minds,I believe that many people have come to this destination from many troubling thoughts and problems as they begin to think this is an option. It is not a good choice, the problem that caused the depression will still exist like a fatal disease attacking many others as well.

      Like a wound that is not cared for can feaster into an infected area of infection that needs a cure to heal. Our minds are no different, many times what we allow certain thoughts to enter if not filtered can do some damage.

      Like a computer as an example if you allow things to pop up and and you open them you will find that these are viruses that can damage your computer ,even to the point of crashing, our minds our living computers as well. And wonderfully made.

      For example, scientists have found that the human brain has immense memory capacity. One researcher estimated that our brain can hold information that “would fill some twenty million volumes, as many as in the world’s largest libraries.” Some neuroscientists figure that during an average lifetime, a person uses only 1/100 of 1 percent (.0001) of his potential brain capacity. It is appropriate to ask, ‘Why do we have a brain with such a large capacity when we utilize only a tiny fraction of it in an average lifetime?’

      Our minds are very wonderfully made. We must guard what we allow to filter in.

      Just like a good diet of food is important for nutrition to our cell growth . The mind needs the same in what we feed it .

      Col 3:2 Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.

      Reference Bible Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.

      Reference Bible Php 4:7 and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.

      This is how we are protected mentally .

      I am happy that you are here to share this important hub with many .and you are so gifted in that you know how to express what many do not know how to say. Thank you again.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      It is good to hear these words from someone who has been there. I, too, went through a period of time in my life where I felt hopeless and worthless. When the suicidal thoughts came, I was scared, and was able to get the help that I needed. Others did not seem to understand. They saw me as a witty, talented, happy individual, with a full life and everything going for me. They did not see the inner pain and torment I was suffering.