Myths and Facts

Myth

Fact

People attempt suicide because they want to die.

People attempt suicide because they want their emotional or physical pain to end and believe that suicide is the only way this will happen.

Myth

Fact

Once people decide to kill themselves, they can’t be stopped.

Most suicidal people gamble with death, leaving it to others to save them.

Myth

Fact

Suicide happens without warning.

Eight out of 10 suicide victims give definite warning signs prior to their attempt.

Myth

Fact

Once a person is suicidal, he or she is that way forever.

Most people who want to kill themselves are suicidal for a limited period of time.

Myth

Fact

Improvement after a suicidal crisis means the risk is over.

Most suicides occur within three months following the beginning of improvement, when the individual has the energy to put a plan into action.

Myth

Fact

Anyone who exhibits one or more risk factors is suicidal.

Many people exhibit multiple risk factors and aren’t suicidal. Suicidal behavior isn’t a normal response to the stresses most people experience.