Dedicant's Work

Study Program











Pagan Student Association

CafePress Shop


Crisis Response, Question 6

Choose four of the seven common misconceptions about suicide from the list below and discuss why each is a misconception. (minimum 50 words each)

People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

On the contrary, nearly everyone who commits suicide has spoken about it. Often, statements like "you will miss me when I'm gone," or "you'll be sorry when I'm not around," or "I can't see any way out" are common statements that are made before a person attempts suicide. These signs cannot be ignored.

Anyone who tries to kill himself/herself must be crazy.

Insanity or psychosis is not a requirement for a suicide attempt. People may be driven to thoughts of suicide by the normal course of life, and depression, grief, stress, distress, and becoming upset. While people who attempt to commit suicide are likely exhibiting signs of mental illness, they are not necessarily crazy.

If a person is determined to kill himself/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.

Not everyone who attempts suicide will accomplish the task. By providing timely help, counseling, and support can reduce or even eliminate a death wish. (WHO, "Myths") Most people, even the most intent on suicide, have ambivalent feelings about it. Suicide is seen as a way to make the pain end, not a way to end life (Samaritans, "Myths").

Once the emotional crisis improves, the risk of suicide is over.

Similar to one of the other myths below (re: second attempt), persons may improve and change their outlook, but may go back to thinking about death and suicide, bringing the risk back to the forefront, meaning that the person must be checked on and monitored even after the situation improves initially.

Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

Talking to someone about suicide does not give people the idea to do so, nor does it make someone more likely to commit suicide. Not asking about suicide may actually prevent one from identifying a person as "at risk" for suicide. Often, doctors directly ask patients about their thoughts about suicide.

After a person has attempted suicide, it is unlikely he/she will try again.

Persons who have attempted suicide once need to be watched carefully over time, as 1-10% of persons who have attempted suicide will do so again. (WHO, "Myths") Persons may initially improve and change their outlook, but may go back to thinking about death and suicide, and so must be checked on and monitored.

Works Cited


Content © 2003-2010, Michael J Dangler
Updated on 01/08/2010. Site Credits / Email Me!
Basic site design from
(Yes, I stole it!)