With September coming to a close, I wish we could say so does the need to bring awareness to suicide prevention. Sadly, suicide continues – thus the intention of this post is for us to create a safe and sacred space to talk about suicide from a loving, informative, and preventative lens.
The following are a few Myths About Suicide as learned while I attended the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)!
MYTH NUMBER ONE When someone makes a statement like “I’m done. I just want to end it.” –
If we ask “Are you thinking about suicide? Are you thinking about killing yourself?” We tend to think we will plant the idea into the other person’s mind, they will go out and do it, and it will be our fault.
THE FACT – The opposite is true. The minute we ask – the person who might be considering suicide is relieved to find someone who is ok to talk to about the overwhelming sadness or pain they are feeling.
If the answer is yes – A good question to ask is “Do you really want to die or do you want the pain to stop?” This question tends to get a response like “You mean I don’t have to die to make the pain stop?” Then you are both moving toward possible solutions. Although this topic can be scary please know you are not alone – you can call 1.800.SUICIDE together. You will be greeted by a recording but know that someone will come on the line to assist you.
MYTH NUMBER TWO “If I die, I won’t be a burden.”
THE FACT – Statistics show that survivors are changed forever in a sad way – they will always wonder why and what they could have done to prevent it. Equally sad is that survivors tend to consider suicide as an option when their plate gets full. Statistics show that when one family member dies by suicide many times there is another family member who follows the suicide path.
MYTH NUMBER THREE “People who attempt suicide more than once are only trying to get attention – otherwise they would *complete.”
THE FACT – People who try more than once are getting better at it with every attempt, it is becoming less scary, and it is more likely to happen, or the person may accidentally suicide. Without the proper help – the person with multiple attempts is more likely to ultimately die by suicide. Thus, every attempt should be taken seriously.
One more reason to stop the attempts is not a myth it is a fact. If I have multiple attempts and finally on my third attempt, I decide life is worth living- That is great! Love of life should be great! However, let’s say on my previous attempts I took a bunch of pills – I lived and now I choose to live which is sweet– and unfortunately during those previous attempts my body may have been compromised – my organs may have been affected and now although I choose to live, I may be living with a compromised body.
So let’s SQUEAL – Suicide Questions to Understand, Evoke and Affirm Life. Let’s begin being okay with talking about suicide. Let’s trust that by talking about suicide it is less likely to happen. And let’s get the myths from facts straight so that we can work together to eliminate the palpable pain and suffering that death by suicide brings. Let’s suffer less and live more!
So glad that you are here!
*In the past –the vocabulary was “succeeded” instead of completed – however how is suicide a success thus the more appropriate and accurate word became “complete.”