FACTS AND FABLES

 There is a lot of information and misinformation surrounding the issues of suicide.  Below is an excerpt of fables and facts about suicide, according to Bill Blackburn, author of What You Should Know About Suicide.

Fable: People who talk about suicide won’t do it.

 FACT:  It is estimated that about 80% of persons who take their lives have given signals about their intentions. Suicide threats should always be taken seriously. 

Fable: All suicidal persons are mentally ill.

 FACT:  Although the suicidal person may be unhappy, anxious and upset, not all persons who take their lives could be diagnosed as mentally ill. 

Fable: Suicide occurs without warning.

FACT:   Suicide is the result of a process that in retrospect can be traced back sometimes for years.  Almost always the suicidal person plans how he will take his life and then gives clues to his intentions. 

Fable: Mentioning suicide may give the person the idea.

 FACT:  For a person who is considering suicide, having someone to talk the idea out with can be a powerful preventive. If the person has not thought about suicide but is obviously anxious or depressed, to talk about suicide not being a good option can be a preventive measure. You can assume, though, that most depressed or very anxious persons have given some thought to taking their lives. 

Fable: When depression lifts, the suicide crisis is over.

 FACT:  The greatest danger of suicide is in the first three months following a deep depression. The happiness and peace of mind exhibited by some persons as they come out of a depression actually results from the fact that they have finally “resolved” their crisis by deciding to take their lives. 

Fable: The tendency toward suicide is inherited.

FACT:   There is no firm evidence that the propensity toward suicide is passed down genetically. The phenomenon sometimes seen of suicide “running in a family” seems to be due to learned behavior rather than inherited tendencies.