10 Myths About Suicide 1. MYTH - Those who talk about suicide are the least likely to attempt it FACT - About 80% of those who take their own lives will have talked about it to some significant other in the few months before hand. 2. MYTH - If someone is going to complete suicide they are going to do it and there is nothing you can do about it . FACT - The majority of those who take their own lives are ambivalent about doing so until the end. Most people who complete suicide do not want to die they just want to end their pain. An appropriate offer of help and support to people in a suicidal crisis can reduce their risk of dying by suicide. 3. MYTH - You can get a good idea how serious someone is about a suicide attempt by looking at the method used FACT - Most people have little awareness of the lethality of what they are doing. The seriousness of the attempt is not necessarily related to the seriousness of the intent. 4. MYTH - Suicide attempts are just cries for help - it's a form of attention seeking FACT - A suicide attempt is a major risk factor for future completed suicide.The group of people at highest risk for suicide is those who have attempted it in the previous year. 5. MYTH - Only the clinically depressed/mentally ill make serious suicide attempts FACT - People suffering emotional distress and also from other forms of psychiatric illness are at risk. Feelings of desperation, helplessness and hopelessness are better indicators of possible future suicide attempts. 6. MYTH - A good pumping out in casualty will teach those who make silly gestures a good lesson they won't forget. FACT - An unsympathetic response by those in a position to help leads to a missed opportunity for therapeutic intervention. It may lead to those at risk choosing a more certain method next time. An attempted suicide should always be taken seriously. 7. MYTH - Those with personality disorders attempt suicide to manipulate others FACT- a commonly held belief. Many a patient is alienated and an ideal opportunity for therapeutic intervention missed because of the reception they receive in some emergency departments. 8. MYTH - If someone is going to commit suicide they will not tell anyone of their intentions and prepare well in advance FACT - Many suicides are completed on impulse. 9. MYTH - Talking about suicide encourages it FACT -Talking about suicide to someone in distress can save a life. Raising the issue of suicide with those who are depressed or distressed may open the door to therapeutic intervention. To ignore it or hide the situation - even for honorable motives - is stigmatising and damaging. 10. MYTH - Suicide can be a blessed relief not just for the individual but those surrounding him or her. FACT - The effects of suicide should not be trivialised in this way. Bereavement by suicide is itself a risk factor for suicide. Suicide leaves profound feelings of loss, grief and guilt in it's wake. 11. MYTH - She killed herself because of exam stress. FACT - It is not accurate to attribute the cause of suicide to one factor alone. Each person makes decisions based on an individual set of circumstances unique to them. 12. MYTH - Once a person is suicidal they are suicidal forever. FACT - Suicidal feelings and suicidal intent are often of short duration and vary in intensity over time.