Myths and Facts of Suicide
Myth: Suicidal people are fully intent on dying. Nothing others do or say can help.
Fact: Most people desperately want to live; it may be that at this specific time they feel hopeless and desperate, and possibly unable to find alternatives to their problems. Most people who have these feelings just want to stop the pain, not necessarily to die.
Myth: Suicide happens without warning.
Fact: There are almost always warning signs, but others are often unaware of the significance of warnings or unsure what to do.
Myth: People who talk about suicide do not commit suicide.
Fact: Most people who commit suicide have talked about or given definite warning signs of their suicidal intentions.
Myth: Improvement in a suicidal person means the danger is over.
Fact: Many suicides occur several months after the beginning of improvement, when a person has the energy and motivation to act on suicidal thoughts.
Myth: All suicidal individuals are depressed.
Fact: Depression is often associated with suicidal feelings, but not all people who attempt or commit suicide are depressed. A number of other emotional factors may be involved, including hopelessness and anger.
Myth: Young people are more likely than older people to commit suicide.
Fact: People of all ages kill themselves.
Long-term risk factors include:
Genetic or biological influences:
-family history of suicide or attempted suicide
-family history of depression
-family history of alcohol or other substance misuse.
-all or nothing thinking rigid thinking, characterised by patterns of thought that are difficult to change
-excessive perfectionism, with high standards causing distress to the person or to others
-hopelessness, with bleak pessimistic views of the future
-impulsivity, tending to do things on the spur of the moment
low self-esteem, with feelings of worthlessness poor problem-solving skills, with difficulty in thinking of alternative solutions.
Short-term risk factors:
-divorced, separated or widowed
-being older and/or retired having few social supports
-being unemployed, or having no structure or routine to a day - this can isolate people
-physically disabling or painful illness
-occupation: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, vets and farmers have a higher risk than other professionals
-recent loss or bereavement, including anniversaries or significant dates job loss
-imprisonment or risk of imprisonment.
The three psychiatric disorders most commonly associated with suicide are;
-substance misuse (including alcohol)
Other psychiatric disorders that should also be considered are: personality disorders obsessive-compulsive disorder panic attacks or panic disorder.
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