Suicide can affect anyone. It is believed by some, that you must have a mental illness if you think about suicide. That is not always the case though. Certain tragic life events can cause someone to have suicide ideation. We as a society need to be able to recognize mental health changes in the people around us so we can help others seek help. Below are some suicide myths and facts.
MYTH: Suicide only affects individual with a mental health condition.
FACT: Relationship issues, criminal matters, loss of home, death of loved one, illness, trauma, and rejection are all factors that could potentially lead to suicide ideation or suicide.
Myth: If someone has been suicidal before, they will always be suicidal.
FACT: “Studies show that approximately 54% of individuals who have died by suicide did not have a diagnosable mental health disorder.” Sometimes people are trying to control a deep, emotional pain that can lead them to suicide. If these thoughts and feelings were treated properly, it is possible for the individual to live a long, successful life.
MYTH: Most suicides happen without warning.
FACT: Most of the time there are verbal or behavioral warning signs. This is why it is vital that we, as a community, understand and know these warning signs. If you do not understand the warning signs of suicide, this could cause you to believe that a suicide happened without warning.
MYTH: People who take their own life are selfish and are taking the easy way out.
FACT: Most of the time people who die by suicide are trying to end THEIR suffering. Their emotions of helplessness and hopelessness run so deep that it leads them to suicide ideations or suicide. This is not a selfish act, but a very serious mental health symptom due to either mental illness or a life situation.
MYTH: Talking about suicide will lead and encourage them to suicide.
FACT: If we talk about suicide as a society, it helps break the stigma of suicide. It also gives the individual a chance to seek help, rethink their options, and confide in someone about their story.
We should not be afraid to speak out about suicide, or any other mental illness. We must break the stigma by making mental illness a more common conversation and advocating for mental health awareness throughout our communities.
Rebecca & Gabriel Montenegro