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Myths about Suicide

Suicide is one of those taboo topics that many people do not like to discuss. Death is a difficult topic to tackle, but when the person chooses to take their own life it brings up a lot of unanswered questions. I believe education in this area is the key to helping people who are having these thoughts. Let’s look at some of the beliefs we have about suicide.

1) Suicide is always an impulsive act. The truth is that many people have spent days, weeks, and even months planning for their suicide. For whatever reason they want things to go a certain way when they end their life. This preparation is thoughtful and precise. It is only seen as impulsive because usually the one who commits suicide does not tell anyone that they have plans to do it.

2) Discussing suicide will cause the person to move toward doing it. Many people have already had it on their mind before it is discussed with them. Actually bringing up the topic will help them to voice their wishes and give someone else a chance to intervene.

3) A suicidal person who begins to share personal possessions is showing signs of getting better mentally. Many times the person is giving away prized possession because their mind is already made up that they are going to kill themselves. This is a sign that they do not need these possessions any more because they will not be around long.

4) People who threaten suicide don’t do it. Anyone who threatens suicide needs to be taken seriously regardless if it is just for attention.

5) When a person has attempted suicide and is not successful the danger is now gone. The danger is now just beginning because many people attempt suicide multiple times before they are successful. It is has been noted that women attempt suicide three times more often than men, but men are four times more successful according to the CDC. This is usually because men take more aggressive methods.

6) People who commit suicide are insane. People who commit suicide are sick and need help. Most of them feel as if their life is out of control and that they do not have any options. They see suicide as a way of escaping their problems. This does not make them insane just lacking hope.

7) Suicide runs in families, it is an inherited tendency. There is no data that supports this view. It is possible that some families can have more suicides because the family deals with issues such as depression, anxiety, alcoholism, mental illness, etc, but this does not mean that it is biological.

Tommorrow we will look at a biblical view of suicide. Is suicide an unforgivable sin?

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