‘I want to kill myself’ a common but unhealthy statement

Mya Studyvin

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I want to kill myself.

It’s a sentence that 10 years ago would shock anyone who heard it spoken. Now it rarely gets a reaction.

“I think the reason why it’s so normalized is because it is something that is very prevalent in the world today,” said a Wichita-area counselor, who is anonymous due to an employer’s request. “They just say, ‘I want to kill myself,’ rather than actually thinking about the severity of those words. I think people may be down when they say it, but I don’t think a lot of people really want to kill themselves or that it’s to the point of suicide.”

Variations of the phrase can be heard during the school day. The moment any inconvenience strikes, it’s common to hear someone say “I want to die.”

“I joke about it a lot, so (I say I want to kill myself) probably 20 times a day,” junior Beth Barger said. “I don’t actually want to kill myself, but it’s probably to express that I’m going through a hard time.”

Freshman Tyffani Stewart said she uses the phrase “a lot when she’s stressed or upset,” but would never actually kill herself over those problems.

So why say it?

“It’s just such a common phrase and everyone thinks that it’s a joke,” Barger said. “(I think it’s a problem) because since it’s so normalized, when somebody actually says it and means it, it’s not taken seriously.”

Stewart added: “A lot of people say it because they think it’s normal, but it’s actually something bad. People say it too much and some people are actually thinking about it.”

A good way to break the habit — such as when you find out your English assignment requires partners — substitute that phrase with something different, such as ‘I’m stressed,’ or ‘this really sucks.’

Suicide is never an option, yet joking about it creates the illusion that it is.