Being a Mental Health professional and a Suicide Prevention Interventionist, I feel obliged to respond to a recent blog, the content of which is very similar to societal attitude towards suicide.
In order to bust some of the myths and thereby endeavour to change the mindset towards suicide, I post below some myths and facts relating to an extremely grave issue our country faces today.
Myths and Facts:
Myth – Only emotionally weak people attempt suicide.
Fact – Suicide is a crisis breakdown and we ALL have the potential to attempt it. We are all fallible (imperfect and prone to mistakes) and a mixed bag of negative, positive and neutral emotions. Hence, even an emotionally strong person CAN come to a point of breakdown where the ability to deal with a situation is lost.
Myth – An attempt at suicide is merely attention-seeking behaviour.
Fact – On the contrary, it is a huge shout out for support to get out of a seemingly hopeless situation.
Myth – Suicide is an act of cowardice.
Fact – Nobody wants to die. Suicide is NOT about dying, but about wanting to end the pain and not knowing how, except by ending one’s life. which then leads to ‘no pain’.
There are many other myths, but the ones above are relevant to the post on the blog. The worst thing you can do to someone suffering from depression or having suicidal ideations is being judgemental and making judgemental statements.
You don’t know nor can you understand their pain. And you are not in that situation to gauge your own reaction. You assume you would respond positively, but you really don’t know, do you?
As a part of an initiative towards mental health awareness, I would be happy to spend a few moments with groups of people who are genuinely interested in knowing the facts and supporting their family and friends by understanding the warning signs and knowing the Do’s and Don’ts for dealing with depression and suicide.