Suicide- Myths and Misconceptions

I remember losing everything I held dear to me; my mother, my family, and my home. I felt a deep emotional pain that I’ve never felt before. I felt like I didn’t have any other options. I was so angry to have been born and I could not understand why God could allow so much heartache into my life. I thought about suicide every single day and how badly I didn’t want to live anymore. Waking up to the emotional pain I endured on a daily basis became unbearable and I was searching for an escape. I remember looking over every night as my boyfriend was laying asleep in bed while I paced in the kitchen with the pills I hoarded for over two months. I felt alone, worthless, hopeless, and as if I had nothing to offer this world. After my boyfriend left to visit his family during the holidays, I planned that week to end my life. Fortunately, my attempt to kill myself failed and I was able to contact the suicide lifeline and spoke to a woman I’ll never forget.

Many people believe suicide is only due to mental illness which is not always the case. Mental illness can be a risk factor for suicide, but it is not the cause. Suicide is the outcome of a crisis: an event or situation that causes emotional upset that temporarily exceeds a person’s resources or coping skills. In other words, a crisis could be provoked anything; losing your dog, the stock market crashing, hallucinations, infertility, public humiliation, bullying, etc. All crises are relevant; meaning something that is not a crisis for you may be a crisis for someone else. Those who contemplate suicide are feeling so much pain, they see no other option for their pain to end. Most people want to live, but due to the debilitating emotional pain they’re feeling, they’re unable to see the permanency of taking their life.

Many believe those who contemplate or talk about suicide are doing it for attention when in reality, it may be a cry for the help they don’t know how to receive. It’s always important to take suicidal thoughts seriously and immediately address the issues the suicidal person is facing. Here are some risk factors below:

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses (Chronic pain/ illness)
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

It’s important to know that everyone will experience at least one crisis in their lifetime. Some judge others for ever considering suicide due to lack of understanding of the pain they’re feeling. Anyone can contemplate suicide. It’s important to take thoughts of suicide seriously and notice the signs. I’m not only glad I am alive today to share my story, but I now also have the understanding and ability to help others who are experiencing severe emotional pain to the point they consider killing themselves. I hope this post reduces the stigma and gives insight to those who don’t understand. For those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, that is completely normal and okay. It’s acting on those thoughts that is not okay. For anyone who is currently having thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. There are options available for you. Please contact the National Suicide Lifeline listed below to speak to a specialist who truly cares for your life and can provide the support you need.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 1-800-273-8255 FOR SUPPORT OR IMMEDIATELY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN/ NEAREST HOSPITAL

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