Did you know that every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide?
According to the World Health Organization, almost 800 000 people die by suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15-29 years.
Alarmingly, it is estimated that 1 in each 10 individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder dies by suicide (and rates could be higher).
Suicide is a complex topic, it can be scary, but it is important to talk about it. We have to.
Things that are useful to know
Myth: Anyone who has a suicide ideation or intention has a mental illness.
Fact: People who have suicide ideations or intentions do not necessarily have a mental illness diagnosis or a condition. They might feel upset, grief-stricken, depressed, or despairing. Extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness. However, for people with mental illness the risk is higher, just like any failing organ or system that did not receive medical attention on time, dying by suicide is the result of long lasting condition that seemed invisible, that was ignored, undiagnosed, mistreated or addressed too late.
Myth: If someone is determined to follow up with a suicidal intention, nothing is going to stop them.
Fact: Attention and prevention can make a difference and save someone’s life.
Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
Fact: You don’t promote suicide ideations or intentions by talking about it. Rather, the opposite is true. Talking openly and honestly about suicide supports prevention and helps save lives.
Myth: People who die by suicide must be judged or condemned. People who have suicide ideations or intentions are cowards because they do not have to courage to face life. It goes against our instinct to survive. They are selfish because they do not think of the ones that love them.
Fact: These are the most horrible statements. Do not make ANY assumptions. People who have suicidal ideations or intentions might feel unbearable despair, they might be looking for relief desperately. It’s surely not easy for them. It is profoundly hard and painful to be in that situation.
Myth: People who have had suicide intentions or who have died by suicide surely regret it.
Fact: Again, do not make any assumptions. Do not romanticize this complex situation. Let’s don’t speak of behalf of people who have been in this circumstance.
Understandably, suicide is a deeply sensitive topic for those who have been affected by it either by having ideations, intentions or by having lost a loved one.
Besides that, it is fundamental for all of us to talk appropriately which helps remove stigma and spread accurate information. Here is some terminology to keep in mind:
Suicide ideation refers to thoughts about engaging in suicide-related behavior.
Suicide intention includes actioning these ideations.
Death by suicide this is the completion of the above. Wrongly, it is still very common to hear the expression “committed” suicide. This is incorrect to say, as it is laden with blame and stigma.
When someone dies by an illness or in an unexpected accident, we do not use the words “to commit” ,”committed”.
Suicide survivor two groups can feel identified with this concept. People who have struggled with suicidal ideations and actioned their intentions but did not die by suicide. And, people who are affected by the loss of someone who died by suicide.
What to do?
Suicide ideations and intentions are a very serious matter. Look for expert support for you or for someone you know. Do not take for granted anything included in this post, we are not professionals. We are trying to help raise awareness.
If you are struggling, we can say recovery happens. You deserve a fulfilling life. You are not alone. We need you.
If you are struggling or if you feel you might be in danger, do not hesitate to contact local support. YOU MATTER.