MYTHS OF SUICIDE
Copy each item onto an index card.
- Teenagers who talk about attempting suicide are doing it for attention.
True, and they NEED the attention. There is something going on that's causing them to feel this way. They need people to listen, and professionals to help them.
- All teenagers who are suicidal are depressed.
This statement is true, but the reverse is not true, most people will experience times in their lives when they are depressed, but have no suicidal ideation.
- Suicidal people really want to die, so there's no way to stop them.
False. They are depressed and need help. With help, they can feel better and find other solutions.
- Talking about suicide will cause a student to attempt suicide.
False. It's just the opposite: not talking about it could escalate the problem. Even thinking about it makes the suicidal person feel worse. Talking will help bring understanding. Talking about it can relieve suicidal students and get them the help that's needed. Discussing the subject openly shows that you take the person seriously and that you care.
- If a person really wants to kill himself or herself, no one has the right to stop him or her.
False. We would help a person who was physically sick or injured; we need to help a person who is mentally ill.
- Once a person is suicidal, they're suicidal forever.
False. Teens who are suicidal can go on to lead useful lives, once they get help. Usually the suicidal feelings are for a limited period of time.
- Improvement following a suicidal crisis means that the suicide risk is over.
False. Most suicides occur within 3 months following the beginning of "improvement", when the teen has the energy to put their morbid thoughts and feelings into effect. Relatives and physicians should be especially vigilant during this period.