Myth: All suicidal people want to die and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Fact: Most suicidal people are undecided about or dying. They may gamble with death, leaving
it to others to rescue them. Frequently they call for help before and after a suicide attempt.
Myth: Suicide is an act of impulse with no previous planning.
Fact: Most suicides are carefully planned and thought about for weeks.
Myth: A person once suicidal is suicidal forever.
Fact: Most suicidal people are that way for only a brief period in their lives. People who
receive the proper assistance and support, will probably never be suicidal again. Only about 10
percent of attempters later complete the act.
Myth: A person who attempts suicide will not try again.
Fact: Most people who commit suicide have made previous attempts.
Myth: Improvement in a suicidal person means the danger is over.
Fact: Most suicides occur within about three months following the beginning of improvement,
when people have the energy to act on this morbid thoughts and feelings. The desire to escape
life may be so great that the idea of suicide represents relief from a hopeless situation. Often a
period of calm may follow a decision to commit suicide.
Myth: Suicidal persons are mentally ill.
Fact: Studies of hundreds of suicide notes indicate that, although suicidal people are extremely
unhappy, they are not necessarily mentally ill.
Myth: Because it includes the holiday season, December has a high suicide rate.
Fact: Nationally, December has the lowest suicide rate of any month. During the holiday
season, the depressed person feels some sort of belonging and feels things may get better. As
spring comes and their depression does not lift, the comparison of the newness and rebirth of
spring and their own situation can produce overt self-destructive behavior.
Who Commits or Thinks about Committing Suicide.
Individuals are at greater risk to commit suicide if they have:
made a previous suicide attempt
a family history of suicide
lost a friend through suicide