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Aftermath of Suicide Working through the suicide of someone you knew or loved can be an incredibly painful ordeal Not only are you dealing with the death itself but the process is exaggerated by intense self examination and questions Why didn t I see it coming What did I miss Why couldn t I have prevented this from happening Will it happen again to someone I care about What do I do about my own feelings of helplessness despair and anger It s helpful to look at some history and myths facts about suicide People have been committing suicide for centuries it is not a new phenomenon While people of all ages and backgrounds can and do commit suicide it is the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults Almost always suicide is attempted or completed by persons who feel totally trapped by life circumstances and can see no other way out If a suicide follows an argument a failed exam a break up of a relationship that is not the cause of the suicide The causes of suicide are rooted in weeks months and even years of personal struggle The person sees no other way to escape his or her personal pain We talk a lot about suicidal gestures being a cry for help and clearly that is true and we need to respond to those cries However the following must also be considered One in five students do not give clear warnings There are situations where those cries for help are so subtle that they are missed In many cases of completed suicide the person cannot hear or chooses to ignore offers of help Sometimes the internal struggles are so overwhelming that the person cannot even ask for help or let others know that suicide is being considered There is also truth to the idea that if a person is truly intent on committing suicide she or he will let nothing stand in the way of completing that action If you are impacted by the suicide of someone you know there are predictable human responses In general you need to know that these responses are normal that everyone will put their own

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