Suicide & its Rampant Practice
Suicide amongst youths and young adults has been on the increase. In Nigeria where taking one’s life is seen as a taboo and curse, the option to snuff the life out oneself is becoming a worrisome trend, especially with reoccurring cases cut across students in tertiary institutions, young and energetic rural farmers among other groups of people.
The world Health Organization (WHO), published that an average of 3,000 people commit suicide daily all over the world and for every person who completes, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives making it the third leading cause of death among the youths aged 15- 44 in the world.
Nigeria is a highly volatile country where hardships are a part of everyday life. A significant number of Nigerians live below the minimum wage of #18.000. Sadly, while hardships lead to depression, other subtle un-diagnosed like chemical imbalance are also vehicle for depression.
According to research, it has been established that most youths resort to suicide as well as a result of poor academic performance; pressure from parents who compare their children with others and sometimes making them feel inferior or worthless; pressure from social media.
Everyone feels down at times. The breakup of a relationship or a bad grade can lead to low mood. Sometimes sadness comes on for no apparent reasons. Is there any difference between these shifting moods and what is called depression?
Anyone who has experienced an episode ordinary unhappiness is characterized by longer and deeper feelings of despondency and the presence of certain characteristic symptoms. There are growing evidences that depression is in part an illness with a biological basis.
It is more common in individuals with close relatives who have been depressed. Research on the physiology of the nervous system suggests that the level of activity of neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and serotonin, changes in longstanding depression: Anti-depression medicines probably work by correcting a “Chemical imbalance” of this kind.
The loss of a loved one or a disappointment may trigger a depression; past losses, perhaps not fully acknowledged, often make someone more vulnerable to depression.
As the second leading cause of death in young people, a major cause of suicide is mental illness, very commonly depression. People who feel suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out, losing sight of the fact that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary state.
Most people who die in suicide could have been saved or helped. How they Killed him: “People who talk about it won’t do it.” Suicide threats should always be taken seriously. The truth is that few individuals are single – minded in their decision to kill themselves; many are asking for help even as they contemplate suicide.
“Suicide is a purely personal decision” This argument is sometimes used to justify a ‘hands-off’ attitude. It is a misconception, because suicide doesn’t just affect the person who dies; it affect the society at large, and causes under development. “People who want to kill themselves are beyond help” Fortunately, this is not the case suicidal impulses may be intense but short-lived.
The majority of individuals who are suicidal even for extended periods recover and can benefit from treatment. Symptoms of suicide; a person who is experiencing or could experience suicidal thoughts may show the following signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of Suicide
- Feeling or appearing to feel trapped or hopeless.
- Feeling intolerable emotional pain.
- Having or appearing to have an abnormal preoccupation with violence, dying or death.
- Talking about revenge, guilt or shame.
- Consuming drugs or more alcohol than usual, or starting drinking when they had not previously done.
- Increased Isolation.
- Talking about suicide or dying, expressing regret about being alive or ever having been born.
A significant number of people with suicidal ideation keep their thoughts and feelings a secret and show no signs that anything us wrong. Suicidal Ideation can occur when a person feels they are no longer able to cope with an overwhelming situation.
This could stem from financial problems!s, death of a loved on, a broke relationship, or a devastating or deliberating illness. The most common situation or life events that might cause suicidal thoughts are grief, sexual abuse, financial problems, remorse, rejection, a relationship breakup and unemployment.
Sometimes, economic hardship can lead to suicide; shame , ignominy and disgrace can be spontaneous . For some it is immediate reaction not as a result of depression. For others , it is depression after a long time of experiencing hardship , they lose focus, and some hang themselves , some take over dosage of drugs, plunged into lagoon .
Whatever it is, termination of one ’ s life is not good . It is not something that should be encouraged. So , we want to provide hope and tell people a sad , traumatic experience is not necessarily the end of life . Ultimately we want to create a point, a facility where does who are going through mental health will come for a chat .
It is strictly a place you come and exchange views and you will be advised and by the time you are sufficiently advised and counselled if you need to see a psychiatrist then we set up meeting. We begin to get funds from sources so that we support those going through this crisis because the anti depressants is not cheap , people do not have the money so family will lock up the person and chain the person in the house some are boxed back to the village.
These situations do not need to arise, the one of among teenagers are terrible, and it is a traumatic experience for the parents. Those who commit suicide have ended the problem for themselves but created problems for others .
Often some people who have terminal diseases tend to take their life because they cannot go through the trauma and when they do this it can never be announced because suicide is not an honorable thing in the society .
In Africa it ’s an abomination , in Nigeria it is a legal offence , anybody who attempts suicide and is caught is prosecuted that is one thing we want to do. We want to ask for that aspect of the law to be expunged.
The man who commits suicide is not a happy person , he needs help , why punish the person by sending him to jail . That is double jeopardy, and these are some of the issues we are dealing with.
Part of our advocacy is that these homes will not be called psychiatric homes anymore there are some mild names for it like Social Intervention Facility so that you can go there and get help . Stigmatization of mental illness is all over the world but higher in Africa. Some who are going through illness along the line they become mentally ill .
They suffer from delusions , paranoia fear and terrible dreams . Some when they age they begin to suffer from dementia. We are looking at suicide and depression and asking what the society can do to intervene and reduce the rate of suicide.
Some people who are successful in life , some are wealthy they now begin to suffer from psychological imbalance; something begins to disturb their mind. It may not be something physical or real but the mind is diseased. Go to the specialist to treat the mind it is not only poverty that causes mental health.
It is something that affects the mind, sometimes it has to be body chemistry ; sometimes it could be a fear of losing the wealth. Some people made so much money that they are now afraid of the door . They cannot open the door . Some have become so rich they can ’ t step out of the house after 7 : 00 pm.
They cannot eat out. The relations cannot visit ; if they visit they do not stay long. When you enter your office you see a sheet of paper somewhere and say who brought this . There are different things that lead to depression and mental health issues . As human being many things can happen to you and make you sad or happy .
Cause of depression is perpetual stage of sadness; it is continues you no longer feel happy you are not excited about anything . It lingers so there are other symptoms, lack of interest , you avoid people, sleep disturbance , no self -confidence, lose interest in things they used to do. Sometimes they become paranoid they are controlled by fear .
Nigeria ’ s mental health challenge should be treated as normal health issues and family support is also imperative in managing the scourge . Indeed, the harsh economic condition has led to all sort of mental health challenges among the populace that could result in suicidal instincts.
Yet Nigerians must be encouraged to become more open as they grapple with their frustrations. Many suicide notes are filled with confessions that the victims had no one to talk to. Loneliness and the absence of support are the bedrock of suicide incidents.
We recommend that trauma centres manned by seasoned psychologists and psychiatrists be set up for counselling purposes. This is where the role of community and faith-based organisations becomes handy. Where government fails to set up trauma centres, faith-based bodies should be active in providing care and counselling to single parents, out-of-job youths, drug addicts and rape victims, as this set forms the bulk of those with suicidal tendencies.
Above all, nothing can replace individual admonition to self. In times like these, citizens must fall back on internal philosophy that emphasizes hope above despair and purpose above emptiness. For, in the long run, the will to live or die is sometimes a personal decision.
How often do you check up on people…?
Friends and acquaintances.. A little Hi, hello and how are you doing here and there wouldn’t take much of your time. In this time of depression and people choosing SUICIDE as an escape route from life’s unending struggles, you could be a reason that person still wanna hang on.
Reach out to people, know how they are doing because once they are gone, your lengthy RIP post on social media is insignificant.