Friday, September 7, 2012

Suicide: Myth or Fact?

It’s a pretty scary word. For some, it ranks up there with infanticide and pedophilia—why would anyone willingly take their own life? Those who have never had any sort of contact (knowingly) with mental illness or suicide may find the idea ridiculous, idiotic, or just plain selfish, but it’s anything but.

Myth or Fact:

Suicide is the easy way out. This myth BAFFLES me. Anyone who has attempted suicide or has a history of self-harm will tell you suicide is ANYTHING BUT easy. Even those who are determined to end their own life still have the survival instinct buried within them. That means they may subconsciously try to save themselves. Many failed suicide attempts are due to survival instincts kicking in at the last moment. More so, SUICIDE HURTS. You are trying to die, and anyone who has been in a medically critical state will tell you DYING HURTS. But for some, this pain is better than nothingness or the depression they feel. Dying is exceedingly painful, but they’ve come to a point in which living causes them even more pain.

Suicide is selfish. People who say this make me REALLY ANGRY. The people who insist suicidal persons should stop what they’re doing and keep living for the sake of their friends and family are incredibly selfish. This person is in extreme mental or emotional pain. They’re not trying to die to make everyone around them feel miserable. They just want a way to end their own torment. Would you call someone who wanted to escape a torture chamber selfish? No? Then STFU.

People who talk about suicide won’t do it. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. One of the first warning signs that someone may be considering suicide is they begin TALKING ABOUT IT. If someone you know starts to fixate on death, dying, or suicide, talk to them about it! They may be at risk of seriously harming themselves!

People who attempt suicide and fail are simply seeking attention.  Remember when I mentioned those survival instincts? Sometimes that takes the form of not cutting deep enough, ripping the bag off their head while trying to suffocate, not securing their hanging rope, ect. This doesn’t mean they’re not serious. It means subconsciously, they want to live. If someone attempts suicide and fails, intervene IMMEDIATELY. Most people will attempt suicide more than once before they succeed.

Only depressed people attempt suicide. Most people in their life will experience suicidal thoughts, whether or not they suffer from a mental illness. 2/3 of university students will contemplate suicide due to stress. Suicide is a result of someone who is very unhappy, suffering emotionally or mentally, and feel there is no way out. Just like depression, ANYONE can be affected by thoughts of suicide. It is not an issue that pertains to age, gender, social status, race. There are children in our programs as young as 5, 6, 7 who often display suicidal thoughts or actions. Without intervention, many of these children would either attempt, or at the very least engage in self-harm.

Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of suicide. It is 100% preventable, and it’s time we erased the stigma so more people will reach out for help. It’s time suicide became history.



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