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Suicide Myths, Facts, and More

Suicide. Just hearing this word can evoke a range of emotions. For many people, the initial reaction to hearing about suicide is discomfort or fear. Often times, our behavior is to automatically deny that suicide is an issue that affects us personally; or we may simply ignore it and hope the problem goes away on its own. Unfortunately, denial will not solve our problems. If we continue to close our eyes to the issue of suicide and suicidal thinking and continue to believe “that is a problem in other communities… this doesn’t happen to the kids at our school… this is not a problem in our neighborhood,” we are missing opportunities to intervene and help the young people in our lives. Here are some suicide facts

Males Are More Likely to Have Successful Suicide Attempts

Males make up 79% of all successful suicides, according to suicide facts. Females attempt suicide three time as often as men though and are twice as likely to experience depression than men. A female’s suicide attempt will usually involve poison.

Suicide Is The 8th Leading Cause Of Death In The U.S.

In most age groups, suicide is the 8th leading cause of death and takes the lives of nearly 40,000 people a year. An estimated quarter million people become survivors of suicide each year.

suicide facts

Many Famous People Have Attempted Suicide

Celebrities are not immune to depression or suicide. Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain are both examples of well known celebrities who have taken their own lives. Among the list of celebrities who have attempted suicide but were unsuccessful are Britney Spears, Halle Berry, Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Ozzy Osbourne.

Suicide Rates Are Rising Among The Youth

Suicide is the third most likely cause of death for teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24. It is the fourth most likely cause of death in children as young as 10 to 14. Be on the lookout for problems at school, home or any type of substance abuse.

Soldiers Are At A High Risk For Suicide

Suicide rates in the military continue to grow higher and has led many officials to declare the situation an epidemic. In 2012, the Army National Guard had a suicide rate of 30.8 per 100,000. For those in active duty in all branches, the rate was 22.7 per 100,000.

Indian Culture Promoted Suicide At One Time

Suicide facts tell us that in India, a Hindu wife was often expected to commit suicide. After the death of her husband, she was expected to throw her body onto her husband’s body, which would be burning on a funeral pyre. This was thought to guarantee that she would enter into the next life with him. This practice was abolished in 1829 but there are still a small handful of cases every year.

suicide facts

Suicide Can Be Linked To Brain Activity

Research shows that levels of a brain transmitter known as serotonin is considered to be a possible predictor of suicide. Individuals with low levels of this brain chemical are six times more likely to attempt suicide than people with more normal levels.

Suicide Can Be Prevented

Suicide can be prevented in most cases if friends and family know the warning signs and take appropriate actions. Signs of depression include withdrawal from relationships and activities, mania, violence, nightmares and extreme restlessness. If someone that you know is speaking of suicide, seek professional help for them immediately.

It Has Been Illegal To Attempt Suicide

Laws have been passed that make the act of attempting suicide illegal. While most countries have since abolished these laws, areas that do still have some sort of law on the the books do not typically persecute. If a suicide is attempted in the United States, the individual may be admitted to a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.

Guns Are Used Most In Suicides

Firearms are used in nearly 60% of suicides and are more likely to be used by males than females. If there is an individual in a home with a higher than normal risk of suicide, all firearms should be removed from the home.

Antidepressant Medication Can Help

Depression is the most common cause of suicide. If a individual seeks treatment for depression their chances of suicide can drop drastically. The use of antidepressant medication has shown to lesson the symptoms of depression. However, if a person displays suicidal tenancies, other treatment will be needed, such as therapy.

Children Of Parents Who Commit Suicide Are At A Higher Risk

Some research indicates that a child who has a parent that commits suicide is up to three times more likely to attempt suicide themselves. Family members in general can have an impact on suicide risks. Divorced adults are three times more likely to commit suicide than married people.

4% Of Adults Have Thought About Suicide

This number refers to adults who have seriously considered the act of suicide. They may research it and fantasize about it. Luckily, less than half will actually attempt and even less will succeed. Depression is the leading cause of suicide and may be behind three quarters of all suicides.

Suicides Occur More Often In The Spring

A common myth surrounding suicide is that most incidents take place around the holidays when people may be affected by absence of family members or financial struggles. But most suicides actually take place in the spring between March and May. On average, there are 5% more suicides during this time. Christmas actually sees below average suicide numbers. Certain days are more common as well. Monday usually sees the most suicides and Saturday sees the least.

Young People Are Not The Most Affected

It is believed by many that the younger generations suffer the most from depression and suicidal thoughts. The truth is that the elderly have the highest suicide rate of different age categories. Often, the elderly are at a 50% higher risk of depression than a teen or young adult.

Suicide Facts – Facts about Suicide Summary

Suicide Facts

Suicide facts reveal the causes of suicide and how it is becoming more common. There are many resources for prevention and signs to look out for. These facts show who are more vulnerable to suicide, depending on their family life and age. The facts also focus on times when suicides are more likely to happen.

Myths Related to Suicide

Here are some myths related to suicide

Myth: You can’t ask someone if they’re suicidal

Fact: Evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal could protect them. Asking someone if they’re having suicidal thoughts can give them permission to tell you how they feel and let them know they are not a burden.

Myth: You can only call Samaritans if you’re suicidal

Fact: Samaritans are here, day or night, for anyone who needs to talk. You can call them free day or night on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.

Fact: People who die by suicide have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die.

It’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting attention, in the sense of calling out for help.

It’s important to always take someone seriously if they talk about feeling suicidal. Helping them get the support they need could save their life.

The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die – they just want the situation they’re in or the way they’re feeling to stop.

Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there’s nothing you can do.

Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. Getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important. In a situation where someone is having suicidal thoughts, be patient, stay with them and just let them know you’re there. Remember, if you think it’s an emergency or someone had tried to harm themselves- call 999

Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.

Fact: 1 in 5 people have thought about suicide at some time in their life. And not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time they die.

However, many people who die by suicide have struggled with their mental health, typically to a serious degree. This may or may not be known before the person’s death.

Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.

Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they just want the situation they’re in or the way they’re feeling to stop. The distinction may seem small, but it is very important. It’s why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.

Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.

Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic. Often, people who are feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it.

But, by asking someone directly about suicide, you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who are struggling or have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it was to be able to talk about what they were experiencing.

Once someone starts talking, they’ve got a better chance of discovering options that aren’t suicide. Evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal can protect them. They feel listened to, and hopefully less trapped. Their feelings are validated, and they know that somebody cares about them. Reaching out can save a life.

– Rory O’Connor, Professor of Health Psychology at Glasgow University

Myth: Most suicides happen in the winter months.

Fact: Suicide is complex, and it’s not just related to the seasons and the climate being hotter or colder, and having more or less light. In general, suicide is more common in the spring, and there’s a noticeable peak in risk on New Year’s Day.

Myth: People who say they are going to take their own life are just attention seeking and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Fact: Talking openly about suicide to a loved one, colleague, professional or a Samaritan can help someone work through their thoughts and help them find a way to cope. People who say they want to end their lives should always be taken seriously. It may well be that they want attention in the sense of calling out for help and helping them get support may save their life. Being able to talk openly about suicide can help someone work through their thoughts and have a better chance of discovering options that aren’t suicide.

Myth: You can’t tell when someone is feeling suicidal

Fact: Suicide is complex and how people act when they’re struggling to cope is different for everyone. Sometimes there are signs someone might be going through a difficult time or having difficult thoughts. For some people, several signs might apply – for others just one or two, or none.








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