Myths about suicide

Myth: Speaking about the desire to end his life, a person simply tries to attract attention.
In fact: people who talk about suicide or who commit suicide attempts experience severe heartache. They try to make other people aware of this. Never ignore the threat of suicide and do not avoid the opportunity to discuss the difficulties encountered.

Myth: A person commits suicide without warning.
In fact: research has shown that a person gives a lot of warning signs and “keys” to unraveling his plan. Approximately 8 out of 10 suicide thinkers are hinting at it.

Myth: The suicidal tendency is inherited.
In fact: the suicidal tendency is not genetically transmitted.

Myth: suicides occur only at the upper levels of society – among politicians, writers, actors, etc.
In fact: it is known that people of all social groups commit suicide. The number of suicides at all levels of society is about the same.

Myth: All suicidal individuals suffer from mental disorders.
In fact: not all people who commit suicide are mentally ill. A person who has conceived suicide feels hopelessness and helplessness, does not see a way out of the difficulties encountered, from a painful emotional state. This does not mean that he suffers from some kind of mental disorder.

Myth: A conversation about suicide can increase a person’s desire to die.
In fact: the conversation about suicide can not be the reason for its committing. If you do not talk about this topic, it will be impossible to determine whether the danger of suicide is real. Often, frank, heart-to-heart talk is the first step in preventing suicide.

Myth: if a person makes a suicidal attempt, then he will always be a suicidal person, and in the future it will definitely happen again.
In fact: a suicidal crisis usually is temporary, does not last a lifetime. If a person receives help (psychological and other), then he will most likely be able to solve the problems that have arisen and get rid of suicidal thoughts.

Myth: people who conceive suicide simply don’t want to live.
In fact: the overwhelming majority of people with suicidal intentions hesitate in choosing between life and death. They rather seek to get rid of intolerable mental pain, rather than really want to die.

Myth: Men try to commit suicide more often than women.
In fact: women commit suicide attempts about 3 times more often than men. However, men kill themselves about 3 times more often than women, because they choose more effective ways that leave little opportunity for their salvation.

Myth: all actions during a suicidal attempt are impulsive, ill-conceived and indicate a lack of a plan.
In fact: this is not always the case. Most trying to escape from life pre-consider their actions.

Myth: A person can commit suicide under the influence of circumstances, even in a good mood.
In fact: they do not part with life in a good mood, but the depressive state, as a rule, gives rise to thoughts about suicide.

Myth: There is no significant connection between suicide and drug addiction, substance abuse, alcoholism.
In fact: dependence on alcohol, drugs, toxic substances is a risk factor for suicide. People who are depressed often use alcohol and other substances to cope with the situation. This can lead to impulsive behavior, since all these substances distort the perception of reality and significantly reduce the ability to think critically.

Myth: suicide is rare.
In fact: in North America, suicide is one of the top ten causes of death (for children and young people, this is one of the two main causes of death). Thoughts of suicide come to almost half of the population of the United States. Suicidal attempts make 1 out of 250 people. In fact, the number of suicidal attempts may be much more, since some suicides are disguised as accidents.

Myth: If a person has already decided to die, he cannot be stopped.
In fact: the majority of people with suicidal intentions, hesitate between the desire to live and the desire to die. Seeking help from specialists tells about this ambivalence and the hope of finding another way out.

Assessment of the degree of suicidal risk by risk factors

The doctor’s first steps in preventing suicide and assisting the patient are assessing his condition and the degree of suicidal risk in that particular case, since it is this that determines the scope and form of subsequent care. In a schematic view, 11 major prognostic factors are presented, correlating with the probability of suicide in descending order.

Risk factors for suicide (in decreasing order of importance):
1. Loneliness, loss of a spouse, the patient is divorced.
2. Unemployment, job loss.
3. Chronic or life-threatening somatic illness.
4. Depression.
5. Social isolation.
6. Loss of a loved one or divorce in the last 6 months.
7. Making the patient a past suicidal attempt (s).
8. Male sex.
9. Alcoholism, schizophrenia, personality disorder.
10. Older age.
11. Suicidal behavior in relatives and other significant persons from the patient’s environment.

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