With the spate at which people are committing suicide in the country now, if adequate care is not put in place, Nigeria may end up becoming the suicide headquarters of the world. I don’t know how far and what we have done in making sure the poverty headquarters bestowed on the nation is demolished, but we sure cannot afford another accolade of being tagged the suicide headquarters of the world. Just this month alone, I have come across at least, three reports of suicide attempts, two out of them the victims succeeded, while the third one was foiled by men of the Nigerian police.
Death, through suicide; is almost becoming a norm, a bad one for that matter. You wake up to read or hear about someone somewhere in the country who just ended his own life through that thing they called sniper. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know what a sniper is, how it looked like or even the existence of such a product until this suicide stories started coming to the fore. Whatever it is that would make not one, two, or three persons end their own existence through such a deadly product needs to be examined. I know there is an argument going on currently on social media as to whether Sniper should be banned or not. Even if it is banned or access to it usage is greatly reduced, the underlying problem resulting into suicide, which is depression; would still be there.
Depression and suicide are like inseparable friends. According to a Global Statistics figure, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every seconds. In America alone, over 50% of people who dies by suicide suffer from major depression, says American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Depression is a major mental health issue that needs urgent attention.
Most of the times, when depression sets in, those who don’t get the necessary help and adequate care at the time may in most cases, end up taking their own lives. When the news breaks, most especially on social media, about just another person who just ended his or her own life, many people quickly jump into saying both the necessary and the unnecessary things about the deceased. Some are even to quick to cast aspersions, on why should people end their own lives, some would say because of what? Many at this point, wants to remove the mote in the deceased man or woman’s life, forgetting the beams that they themselves have covering their own eyes.
Many can say this and that about the person who’s already dead, but very few can really go through half of what they have been through before they resorted into that terrible state of ignominy. I have never really contemplated suicide before, but there had been times where I was depressed and just wished something just ends the depression right there and then. When people are depressed, what they want is just a way out, something that could take that burden away from them, just like that. In most cases when they don’t get that necessary help, some of them just resort into suicide.
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There was a time someone told me he does not want to share the same office with me, simply because he does not want someone who would be bothering him with his personal life issues. Suffice to say here that, this person is a bosom friend. If I have a challenge, or going through a difficult moment, and I cannot share it with you as a friend, then why are you in my life? So, I made up my mind to always bottle up whatever I am going through from him. Sometimes I imagine, if he is the only person I have in my life to share burdens with, this is how he would have turned me down of letting him know certain things that is hitting me up on the inside.
Many depressed people bottle up stuffs, issues, challenges simply because those they could share them with are not just there for them. And yet, you will see this same people coming out to comments when such persons have ended their lives. There are many young people whose parents are not there for them. Some don’t even have friends or folks to talk to when this feeling creeps in. Now, think about it. How many of you have really messed up the emotions of depressed people? How many of you have denied them the care, the attention, the help that they needed, all because you simply do not want to be bothered.
Sometimes, some of these victims even go on their social media pages to express certain grief, and how they are feeling. Still, many of you still latch at their words and abuse them in return. There is a portion of the Bible that I love to quote so much. It says “The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver” (Proverbs 25:11, CEV). If we are to go by some of you people’s actions and comments to many depressed victims, your words may have contributed to their death. Many of us quick to forget that by giving someone attention, by saying the right words to them, can simply bring them out of whatever state of depression they are. Words are powerful, and this is why they must be channelled properly.
I know you are not a professional psychologist or a psychiatrist, but this is the least thing you can do to help people you think are depressed or suffering from a prolonged depression. Don’t stay far away from such persons. Try as much as possible to talk them into getting a professional help, especially when it appears your words are not having any effect on them. Also, when such depressed persons wants your attention or wants to talk, please do give them a listening ear. Don’t judge them, don’t leave them worse off than they came to you. This is not a time to paint a picture of their terrible past or a glooming future to them.
Let your words be carefully crafted, soothing and relieving. When you see social media posts about people who are contemplating suicide, don’t ginger them into going ahead with the action, thinking you are joking. Even if the person at the other side didn’t mean the post, always try as much as possible to talk such persons out of the idea of a suicide. The reason I am saying this is because I have come across such posts on social media and the comments under them were not so encouraging. And please, always look out for one another. Pick your phones and give a call to that your friend, brothers or cousins you haven’t heard from in a long time.
Ask about their wellbeing, ask how they are doing. probe into their lives a bit. Just make sure you know that they are doing okay. If we can carefully cultivate some of these habits penned down here, I believe we can save many who are on the verge of ending their own lives. Please, let us show love and affection to everyone, irrespective of the distance or where such persons are located.
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