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How might the suicide of a loved one affect me?

Suicide claims a great many lives, and every suicide death affects an estimated six survivors. It is important, then, that the general public and members of the helping professions (including health care, education, and clergy) understand the grief experienced by survivors of suicide loss.
Survivors commonly feel intense shock and disbelief. They may engage in speculation about whether and how the death could have been prevented. Survivors often feel abandoned and isolated. Long time caregivers in particular may feel relief along with their grief, accompanied by intense guilt about their emotions. Typically the period of bereavement lasts longer than for a death due to natural causes.
When a death results from suicide, the sadness of loss experienced by family and friends may be compounded by confusion, anger, and other overwhelming emotions. The media may shine an unwelcome spotlight on the event, thus adding to the stress of the tragedy. And, although attitudes toward suicide are changing, stigma still may produce discomfort, uncertainty, and embarrassment among many people in talking about the death as well as comforting the survivors of suicide loss.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.