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The 9 myths and false topics about suicide

The 9 myths and false topics about suicide

June 12, 2024

Suicide is a very complex phenomenon , as practically everything related to death.

However, in this case part of that "interest" is not given by the act of committing suicide, but by the myths that circulate about this phenomenon.

  • Related article: "Suicidal thoughts: causes, symptoms and therapy"

The main myths about suicide

Then we'll see the most common myths about suicide and we will see why they are based on falsehoods.

1. The discretion of the suicide

There is a myth according to which he who wants to end his own life does not say it, which leads to not paying attention to the subjects who in one way or another express their suicidal ideas or threaten to commit the act.

However, the reality is that of every ten people who commit the act of suicide, nine of them clearly and timely express their purposes ; the remaining subject hinted at his intentions without the need to express them verbally.

2. The one who warns is not serious

Another myth would be the following one: the one who says it does not do it, only expresses it so that these warnings exert like a form of emotional blackmail, manipulation, etc. In other words, they do not want to die, they just boast.

However, while it is true that although not all those who attempt suicide wish to die, it is a serious mistake to label them as alarmist, since they are people to whom its useful mechanisms of adaptation to life have failed and therefore they no longer find valid alternatives to continue, except to end their lives.

Virtually all people who commit suicide expressed it with words, gestures or obvious behavior changes.

Thus, those therapists who bring cases related to suicidal behavior should take all possible precautions when treating a person who talks about ideas, plans or intentions to end their life. Each and every one of the expressed threats of harm to oneself they should be taken very seriously .

3. The myth of impulsivity

According to another myth, suicide is always impulsive and occurs without prior warning from the subject.

Beyond this preconceived idea, the evidence shows that suicide may seem impulsive, but it has generally been considered for some time before being consummated. Many of the accomplished suicides they express some kind of verbal or behavioral warning about their intentions .

4. A very firm decision

Many people believe that suicidal people really want to die or are willing to end their lives at all costs, since they have made an almost immutable decision.

However, it is proven that most people with marked suicidal ideas communicate their thoughts and / or plans to at least one person related to them just before attempting to take their own lives, or call a crisis hotline or to your GP, which is proof of ambivalence in thoughts, not of immovable intention to end his life .

  • Maybe you're interested: "This is how the suicide thinks about death"

5. The myth of "the safe zone"

Another false idea is that, when a person shows signs of improvement or survives a suicide attempt, he is totally out of danger.

The reality is that one of the most dangerous moments is that which occurs immediately after the crisis or when the subject is in the hospital after an attack.

The week after discharge from hospital is when the person is particularly fragile and in serious danger of attempting again against his life.

Because past behavior is a forecast of future behavior, the suicide is still at risk .

6. The legacy myth

According to another myth, suicidal behavior is hereditary.

What science actually says, however, is that not all suicide can be solidly related to hereditary factors, and the studies on it are quite limited . On the other hand, family history of suicide is an important risk factor, particularly in families in which depression is common.

7. Suicides have a mental disorder

People who try to commit suicide they do not have to have a mental disorder . It is known that suicidal behaviors have been associated with depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. However, this association should not be overestimated since there are cases in which there was no obvious mental disorder.

8. If a suicide is challenged, he does not dare to kill himself

What science says is that challenging the suicide is a completely irresponsible act , since it is in front of a highly vulnerable person and in a situation of crisis where his adaptation mechanisms have failed completely, thus predominating the desire to end his life.

9. Inciting suicide with ease

Another myth says that, if you talk about suicide with a person at risk, you can be encouraged to perform the act, even unintentionally.

Despite this, it is widely shown that talking about suicide with a risk person, instead of inciting, provoking or introducing the idea in his mind, reduces the danger of committing suicide and in many cases may be the only possibility of rescuing the subject .

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