Someone I know just faked a suicide attempt. She didn’t do anything, she just told people that she did. The presumed reason was to get people to feel sorry for her and to make one person in particular, feel horrible.
But it was a sham.
Now, as someone who has attempted once and been close 4 other times, this offends me to my core. Here’s why.
First, any person who knows she was faking, is going to take an attempt by someone else, or her, with a grain of salt. And a suicide attempt should NEVER be taken lightly. This is serious business, and someone could easily lose their life if people around them have learned not to pay attention.
Second, this is a slap in the face to anyone who has ever attempted or gotten help before attempting. This is making light of the situation that many people suffer through every single day. I don’t even know how many people attempted suicide today, but their suffering is somehow lessened in the minds of the people who know this girl.
Third is stigma. Stigma is always present. We don’t need fake suicide attempts. That increases stigma in the minds of the people who know her and that stigma is passed along as the story gets passed along.
This girl obviously needs some help. She’s obviously suffering, and I feel badly about that. But to utilize something so serious, just to make someone else suffer, is actually making the rest of us suffer. No one ever told the object of her false attempt, so he’s not suffering because of it. But, if he found out, and found out it was false, then the lack of belief of a true attempt would grow in him as well.
Be on the lookout for those who don’t believe real attempts because they’ve been fooled. Make sure they know that just because they’ve been fooled, EVERY possible attempt should be taken seriously.