* Misconception No. 1 -- "People who talk about suicide won't really do it."
Not true. Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," -- no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
* Misconception No. 2 -- "Anyone who tries to kill themselves must be crazy."
Not true. Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
* Misconception No. 3 -- "If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her."
Not true. Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
* Misconception No. 4 -- "People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help."
Not true. Studies of suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths.
* Misconception No. 5 -- "Talking about suicide may give someone the idea."
Not true. You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true. Bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
(Source: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)
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