6 myths about suicide that you mustn’t believe, according to a psychologist
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
Losing someone to suicide is undeniably difficult. Aside from the tragedy of a life lost, it profoundly impacts the family, friends, and the entire community. Each suicide raises numerous questions about the triggers and leaves us feeling helpless.
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We often overlook the silent pandemic of suicide, which affects a large number of people struggling with mental health issues. However, it’s crucial to recognize that suicide is a preventable cause of death, and it can be triggered by factors beyond mental illness.
According to recent data from the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease project, suicide rates in India are 1.5 to 2 times higher than the global figures for both men and women. Alarmingly, suicide is the leading cause of death in the country, particularly among individuals aged 15 to 39. Despite these sobering statistics, several myths surround suicide. This article aims to debunk some of them.
Myth 1: Suicidal tendencies are permanent
The heightened risk of suicide is often specific to certain situations and temporary in nature. Although such thoughts may come and go, identifying the signs early on allows individuals to seek help and ultimately recover.
Myth 2: Discussing suicide with someone who has a mental illness is inappropriate
Individuals exhibiting suicidal tendencies or dealing with mental health conditions often hesitate to open up due to the associated stigma. However, engaging in conversations about their feelings can help them evaluate their decisions and find solace. It can be a valuable way to prevent self-destructive thoughts.
Myth 3: Only people with mental health disorders die by suicide
While suicidal tendencies can indicate profound unhappiness, they may not always be linked to an underlying mental health issue. Many individuals take their own lives due to reasons beyond mental illness.
Myth 4: Suicides occur abruptly without warning signs
People with suicidal tendencies frequently exhibit verbal or behavioral warning signs. It is crucial for friends and family members to be vigilant and take preventive measures at the earliest indication.
Myth 5: Suicides are limited to individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds
Assuming that only those at the lower end of the economic spectrum are at risk of suicide is incorrect. Suicide is a global public health concern, and its causes can be multifaceted.
Myth 6: Suicide is hereditary
Suicide is not an inheritable condition but rather a behavior triggered by underlying causes, or in some cases, no identifiable reason at all. While genetic factors can play a role, they are not necessary in every case. What is more likely to be similar is the emotional and social environment within a family. Some individuals exhibit resilience while others struggle.
In conclusion, suicide demands urgent attention and intervention as a public health crisis. It is a decision that is not made lightly, and those contemplating it may be caught in a never-ending cycle of hopelessness and self-loathing.
Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that individuals with suicidal thoughts rarely ask for help openly. Those around them must remain attentive to any unusual signs and be proactive. Family relationships play a significant role in both suicide attempts and prevention, emphasizing the need for appropriate support and care for individuals experiencing mental health issues. Addressing the problem at its onset can save lives.