Suicide is rarely understood and frequently stigmatized. I remember when I heard about fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide. But she was rich and famous. And she had a teenaged daughter. Why?
But the truth is, no one really knows what kind of pain another person may be in. Even if they appear to have much to live for.
Because suicide isn’t talked about enough, it is shrouded in mystery.
- It can’t happen to my teenage child.
- Suicides come out of the blue with little or no warning.
- People who stop acting depressed and begin acting inexplicably happy have turned a corner and are out of danger.
- Everyone who attempts suicide intends to die.
- Suicides occur only in lower socio-economic groups.
- Those who talk about suicide don’t really do it.
- Most suicide victims had prior attempts.
- People who have everything to live for don’t do it.
- People who commit suicide don’t want help.
- Once people decide to die by suicide, there is nothing you can do to stop them.
- People who attempt suicide and survive will not attempt suicide again.
- Only people who appear depressed attempt suicide.
- A suicide attempt is a manipulative behavior and therefore should be ignored or even punished.
- Depression and other mental disorders do not occur in young people.
Suicide Warning Signs
My father committed suicide when I was 11 years old. Even at that age, I knew that he was depressed. I felt guilty for years because I felt like I should have been able to prevent it.
I realize now that a young child cannot prevent a parent’s suicide. But it is preventable. Pay attention to your family, friends and coworkers. Don’t be afraid to intervene. You could save their life.
If someone you know is talking about or planning to take his or her life, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).