Suicide is a highly stigmatized and misunderstood topic. Attempt survivors and people who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide often face judgement from others. Shame silences people from opening up about what they might be struggling with. Learning the truth about suicide and knowing the signs can save someone’s life.
Listen to Brave Faces David Martinez and Sherri Morgan shed light on what it is like to manage suicidal thoughts and what led them to a suicide attempt.
Truth: Mental illness is commonly thought to be the cause of suicide. However, a study by the Centers for Disease Control found that 54% of suicide deaths had no known diagnosis when they passed. In truth, suicide is complex and many factors involved.
Truth: The majority of the time, people having thoughts of suicide don’t want to die. They want relief from the intense emotional pain they are feeling. Suicidal thoughts are a real symptom of either a mental illness or a difficult life situation and they are struggling to cope. Perpetuating this myth makes it more difficult for someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts to open up and get help. It also complicates the grieving process for someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.
Truth: A person experiencing suicidal thoughts may be trying to control overwhelmingly painful emotions. Once the person has had the chance to talk and get treatment, the thoughts start to fade away. They may return from time to time, but they are not permanent.