Myths and Facts About Depression and Suicide

MYTH: It’s normal for teenagers to be moody; teens don’t suffer from “real” depression.
FACT:Depression can affect people at any age or of any race, ethnicity, or economic group.

MYTH: Teens who claim to be depressed are weak and just need to pull themselves together. There’s nothing anyone else can do to help.
FACT: Depression is not a weakness, it is a serious health disorder. Both young people and adults who are depressed need professional treatment. For many people, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is beneficial.

MYTH: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.
FACT: Almost everyone who dies by suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “You’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” or “I can’t see any way out”-no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

MYTH: If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.
FACT: Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop.

MYTH: People who complete suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.
FACT: Studies of completed suicides have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six months before their deaths.

MYTH: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
FACT: You don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true. Bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.