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Common Misconceptions

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" or "I can't see any way out" - no matter how casually or jokingly said - may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.

Not True

Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing. Extreme distress and emotional pain are always signs of mental illness but are not signs of psychosis.

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, and most waiver until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to end their pain. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.

Not True

Studies of adult suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six months before their deaths and a majority had seen a medical professional within one month before their death.

Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

Not True

You don't give a suicidal person 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.

Exchange House
National Travellers Service

61 Great Strand Street
Dublin 1, Ireland
Tel: 00353-1-8721094
Fax: 00353-1-8721118
Email: info@exchangehouse.ie
Web: www.exchangehouse.ie