Suicide is 'contagious,' another reason not to do it

Here is another reason, in the long list of reasons, why you shouldn't kill yourself.

What if you knew that your death could cause other people to die too? Would you rethink it? 

If you think the world would be better off without you, that's just not true. In fact, if you kill yourself, this increases the chances that others will attempt to do the same thing.

A new study has found that students age 12 to 13 who had a classmate kill him or herself was almost five times more likely to have thoughts of suicide than someone who never had a classmate commit suicide. Of 16 to 17-year-olds, 15.1 percent of the students who had a classmate commit suicide said they had thought of it too, compared to 7.4 percent of students who didn't have a classmate kill themselves. 

The study shows that these effects last for up to two years following the suicide. Also, a previous study shows that teens are at the highest risk to attempt suicide up to two years after a parent dies from suicide. 

Also — surprisingly — someone doesn't have to be particularly close to the person who died in order to have these thoughts or to attempt suicide as well. 

Dr. Ian Colman, an assistant professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine and Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology, said in the study:  "When someone dies, particularly a young person, the deceased is described by their loved ones in the media and in social media in glowing, romantic terms, often mentioning how beautiful the child was. Talk like this is common when any child dies, but it can be dangerous when talking about suicide. When other vulnerable youth are reading or hearing about this, they see the reports about how wonderful the person was, and they want their loved ones to feel the same way about them."

If being harsh could save one person from doing this permanent thing, then so be it. If telling someone "Your life will get better" won't work, maybe telling them that, by choosing to live, you could save someone else — maybe that will make them stop and think. Your death could make someone else contemplate suicide. And killing yourself could cause someone else to kill themselves too. 

No matter how bad your life may seem, is that really worth it? 

I also think this serves as a harsh reminder to all of us. Don't wait until someone dies to say, "I love you," or say how much those in your life mean to you. Maybe, if more people were told they were loved while alive, they wouldn't want, so desperately, to die. 

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