Attempted suicide

What can one say about an attempted suicide?

  • It is important to mention that a person who is talking about suicide needs help.
  • But, someone with suicidal feelings should know that those feelings can often pass and that their condition is treatable.
  • There are people out there who know how to help so ‘you are not alone.’

 What not to say about a suicide.

  • One should never say; ‘He/she committed suicide. Say rather, ‘He/she died by suicide.’ I am guilty of saying this when not thinking and concentrating, and I apologise.
  • Journalists often give far too much information about the actual suicide or even about the place where it occurred, which is not only unnecessary, but which may put ideas into the mind of someone in distress.
  • The less detail given, the better. It is unnecessary to glorify or romanticize a suicide.
  • I have read accounts of suicides where the journalist has portrayed suicide as heroic. Why would anyone do this?
  • It is not a good idea to say that suicide ends a person’s pain because I think that one has to be very much alive to feel any relief from pain.
  • It sounds wrong to read ‘it was a failed suicide.’ Much more realistic to say, ‘it was a ‘suicide attempt.’
  • If there have been a few suicide attempts, I have read bold headlines stating; ‘There has been an epidemic of suicides.’ Much more humane to say that the suicide rates are ‘falling’ or ‘rising.’




2 thoughts on “Attempted suicide

  1. Kathleen

    I struggle almost daily with the terms used when people talk about suicide. Successful equals good, unsuccessful equals failure.
    My many unsuccessful attempts , I am supposed to feel grateful.
    I don’t , I feel a deeper stronger failure every time.
    Hospital admissions to prevent another attempt when asked every nurse shift change I am asked if I have self harm or suicidal thoughts? If I say yes, trying to be honest asking for help I am either spoken to with a caring and non judgement away or I am threatened that I will have to be sent to another hospital with a secure ward. Threats like this are not helpful they leave me feeling more hopeless and worthless.
    Every single day to some degree I think about suicide , my earliest memory of doing so is when I was about 12 years old.
    I am now 54. My life is only psych. day program, appointments with psychiatrist and psychologist on alternating weeks.
    Nothing else, this is existing not living.

    I read your blog today from beginning to latest entry, thank you for your honesty, compassion, expressing your hurt, fears non judgementally just open, honest and raw at times.
    I wish you peace.

  2. Pingback: Study of Suicide Motivations to Advance Prevention | NAMI South Bay

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