Myths about Suicide

Whether you think you do or not, you have assumptions about people who attempt or complete suicide. 

Yes. You do. 

I know I did when I first started in this field.  

Please consider the fact that those who consider, attempt, or complete suicide are experiencing thoughts that we cannot begin to understand. Please don't prematurely label these hurting people in such a way that minimizes their pain and decreases your guilt.

Instead, let's reach out, learn, connect, and help.

If you'd like to learn more about the research and thought behind the below statements, I would encourage you to read, Myths About Suicide by Dr. Thomas Joiner, whose own father and grandfather completed suicide. 

Read each of these statements slowly so the shortcomings of each sink in. 

Myth #1: "Suicide is an easy escape, one that cowards use."

Myth #2: "Suicide is an act of anger, aggression, or revenge."

Myth #3: "Suicide is selfish, a way to show excessive self-love."

Myth #4: "Suicide is a form of self-mastery."

Myth #5: "Most people who die by suicide don't make future plans."

Myth #6: "People often die by suicide on a whim."

Myth #7: "You can tell who will die by suicide by their appearance."

Myth #8: "You'd have to be out of your mind to die by suicide."

Myth #9: "Most people who die by suicide leave a note."

Myth #10: "If people want to die by suicide, we can't stop them."

Myth #11: "It's just a cry for help."

Myth #12: "Young children do not die by suicide."

Myth #13: "Young ones (and others) should be lied to about deaths by suicide."

Myth #14: "Suicidal behavior peaks around the Christmas holidays."


A Mother's Reckoning

I read this book over the weekend with so. much. grief.

The intro by Andrew Solomon alone had my stomach in gloomy knots.

Typically at the end of a book, you have some resolution. Some explanation. The author or main character will explain how the conflict was ok because it was meaningful and there were life lessons and so on.

But there's none of that here. Ms. Klebold continues to be heartbroken and stunned and struggling for absolution.

And as the reader, I'm left with more apprehension than when I started because it's only reiterated that no one is safe from mental illness (no matter the parenting style, or religious practice, or exposure to substances, or trauma, or ANYTHING) and there is no cure.

What if one day it's my child that causes so much hell? What if one day it's my patient?