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Originally Posted On: https://www.cremation.green/why-we-should-stop-saying-committed-suicide/
Modern day medicine and technology is helping us have a much better understanding of how the brain works and all the mechanisms that are involved with mental health. It turns out there are many factors at play with keeping our brains chemically balanced and functioning well.
Staying perfectly in balance isn’t possible for some people, and it’s a major contributing factor in mental health disorders. Along with brain chemical imbalances, trauma plays a huge role in the development of mental illness.
Roughly 5.6% of adults in the U.S. grapple with a serious mental health condition. Unfortunately, a mental health condition can also easily lead to physical health problems and risks. The most concerning is suicide. Medical experts estimate that at least 90% of suicide cases involve someone with a serious mental health disorder.
The stark difference in those numbers is telling, and it’s the reason why it’s important to use the term death by suicide instead of committed suicide.
Looking at Suicide With Less Stigma
In the past when suicide was the cause of death it would be said that someone “committed suicide.” But that terminology is all wrong for a few important reasons.
Back then the belief was that people simply couldn’t handle the difficulties they faced and decided to end their life instead. It was considered a conscious decision, which was reflected in the language. Staying that someone “committed” suicide immediately creates a sense of blame. That what they did was wrong and was something that was done on purpose. Given the nature of the word, it also puts suicide on the same level as taking part in a crime.
Saying that someone committed suicide, is making the assumption the person had a choice. As noted above, in most cases, suicide is the result of a mental health disorder that the person doesn’t have control over. Suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide) is a common symptom for some severe types of mental illnesses. It’s estimated that 12.2 million people seriously contemplate suicide, and 3.2 million actually plan out a suicide attempt. These people don’t want to have these thoughts and feel compelled to act on them. When suicide occurs or is attempted it’s the illness making the decision, not the person.
What We Should Say Instead of Committed Suicide
Mental health experts are now encouraging people to change the way they talk about suicide to remove the stigma and misunderstanding so that we as a community can address the problem more effectively. Instead of saying someone committed suicide, it’s now recommended to say it was death by suicide or that the person died by suicide.
Saying it in this way acknowledges the cause of death without placing blame on the victim. It acknowledges that the vast majority of people who die by suicide aren’t making a conscious decision based on rational.
Help is available
Speak with someone today
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
At Green Cremation Texas we are sensitive to the fact that special circumstances surround suicide. Families will not feel any judgment and know that they can grieve freely without having to stress about arranging funeral services. We’re available to help by phone, text or email every day of the week.