Myths and facts of suicide

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Suicide is a topic that gets a lot of media airtime; however, not many people are able to talk about it in their personal lives with friends or family.
This is not surprising, considering the nature of the topic and the stigma and helplessness that many people experience when talking about suicide. At this point in my career as a psychiatrist, I believe that almost everyone has been affected by a suicide or suicide attempt.

According to the World Health Organization, about 700,000 people die from suicide every year. In Australia, that equates to around nine deaths a day, with 65,000 people attempting suicide each year.

Below are some myths and facts of suicide:

  • – Suicide cannot be prevented
    There is a fact that suicide can’t be prevented. The fact is, suicide is preventable. The majority of individuals who think of killing themselves often possess a fear of dying and do not want to die.
  • It’s dangerous to ask a depressed person whether they’re thinking of suicide.
    You may be afraid of talking about suicide with a vulnerable person, for fear that even mentioning it could instinct and spike them to harm themselves. But the reality is that those living with depression may be relieved to have the opportunity to share their disturbing thoughts with someone else.

-People who threaten to commit suicide simply want attention and will not act
People who verbally express suicidal intention are as a matter of fact at risk of suicide and will need your attention. Regardless of whether the suicidal behaviours will be acted upon is irrelevant.

-Most suicides happen around the winter holiday season.
The holidays may be a time of togetherness, but they can also heighten depression among people who already feel lonely or stressed by the demands of the season. Still, contrary to popular belief, suicides don’t peak during the winter holidays.




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