Posted by: zebbook | June 2, 2012

SUICIDE: Perspective, Facts and Myths. Let’s Live

SUICIDE: Perspective, Facts and Myths. Let’s Live. By Adebowale Adejugbe


On December 18, 2010 while tidying my car outside the compound, I noticed an increased level of activity in my estate. Several people clustered in small groups were discussing an event that occurred overnight a few houses away from mine. I was interested but due to my nature of not mingling with most people, I had to wait for someone in my compound to get the complete story and relay. It was an anguished wait because almost everyone already knew – and I was still in the dark.

I got the reel eventually. Suicide! was the first thing she said and I was trying to process that – my mind spinning out of control, making out scenarios and what could have led to it – when the next bombshell dropped. It was the Landlord of the house who committed suicide by hanging.
The wife and kids went for a vigil, the husband was left at home because he was tired (or whatever excuse he gave). It was the perfect suicide (pardon my choice of words) because he was completely dead by the time they returned from the church. It was then that they started thinking about the signs they’ve been seeing but never took serious

What could have led a man who built a house, had several commercial (like 3 or 4) buses plying the road, about 3 “keke Marwa” included, to commit suicide? Money issues? Could have sold stuffs to stabilize. Emotional problems? Possibly, traditional men naturally feel its weak to exhibit any emotional instability. Family issues? Possible, but can be resolved, they were still together as a family.

It get real frank from here, let’s have the facts:
Wikipedia says Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”) is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which can be attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a significant role.

It continues further by telling us that Over one million people die by suicide every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. The rate of suicide is far higher in men than in women, with males worldwide three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.

I hate statistics sometimes, its a pain unbearable. But those statistics actually tell us suicide is an everyday issue, going by what causes it, to actually thinking about it, to carrying it out. We’ll see the assumptions people make about suicide and how they pan out to the real thing.

Suicidal behaviour differs from person to person. Some people show very positive behaviour such as happiness or relief once their decision to take their own life and end the pain has been made. Unusual behaviour, such as being very withdrawn or excessively animated can also be a sign that there is something wrong. Physical symptoms of depression and distress also include sleeplessness, loss of appetite or irregular eating, stomach aches, panic attacks, low energy and loss of concentration. Signs that someone is suicidal can include talking of tidying up their affairs or expressing feelings of despair and failure.

Its a wrong assumption to think that you have to be mentally ill to consider suicide, even though its common among people with mental health problems (obvious or not). Mental health problems don’t actually mean someone is crazy.

Its also wrong to assume that people who talk about suicide aren’t really serious about killing themselves. Most people who kill themselves would have mentioned it to someone about how worthless life is, or they actually felt there was no future and they feel like dying. Its important to take people who say these things serious and organize for help.

If someone had attempted suicide before, its important to keep an eye on the person. People who have attempted suicide are significantly more likely to end up committing suicide than the others. Its important to continuously seek help.

People often assume that whoever wants to kill him/herself would eventually do no matter the help rendered. Its wrong! Suicidal crisis are relatively short termed, even if the actual feeling of distress or low emotional state might be sustained for a long time.

Talking directly about suicide has been wrongly termed as wrong. Its the opposite. Most people thinking about suicide don’t always talk directly about it. Asking or initiating a conversation helps them talk about it. Talking about suicidal thoughts gives them a greater chance of discovering alternatives to suicide.

You have to also know that most suicidal people do not actually want to die, it might be hard to believe but its true. Its very important that timely intervention is offered to such people and you might be able to save a soul.

We might not be able to do justice on this subject as I’m not an expert, I just want people to look out for signs and take these things serious, you would be surprised at those who harbour these thoughts. If you are one of those feeling these thoughts, anxiety, life’s heavy weight, please talk to someone about it. Let’s Live.

Things to listen/ watch-out for:

* Feeling suicidal (it’s a myth that people who talk about it don’t do it)
* Seeing no hope in the future, no point in life
* Feeling worthless, a failure
* Feeling very isolated and alone
* Sleeping badly, especially waking early
* Losing their appetite, or eating more than usual
* Feeling low-spirited and more irritable
* Feeling very isolated and alone
* Seeing no hope in the future, believing that things will never change
* Seeing no point in life, feeling worthless or a failure

 

Kindly get more about suicide here:

1. www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/suicidal_feelings

2. www.medicinenet.com/suicide/article.htm
3. www.metanoia.org/suicide/
4. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide

 

Adebowale Adejugbe
Follow me on twitter (@deboadejugbe)

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on THE LIGHT OF AFRICA!!.

  2. Thank you. One cannot stress these issues enough. Like HIV, being suicidal doesn’t always show on the face. A major risk factor for suicide is depression, you may hear a depressed person talking about being in a “dark place”, that is a pre – suicidal talk. Money, wealth or influence doesn’t prevent suicide or suicidal thoughts.

  3. Hmm! Another masterpiece from Debo’s impressive repertoire. If you think he writes only about governance & politics, here’s proof that he’s vast in diverse subjects. Well done, the piece was informative & educative, keep it up.

  4. Informative.

  5. Debo, my respect for you has reached new heights. This is an article that people really and truly need to read. More and more people go through this and little or nothing is being done to address it. Thanks for shedding some light on it. This is an inspiration to share my story with others too. Thank you.

  6. People commit suicide because those they love are constantly criticizing every thing that they do. Thirty years ago some guy shot himself in the kitchen next door to my grandma’s house. Then just two years ago, someone else killed himself in that exact same house, this time, a hanging.

    In both instances there had been conflict. If you don’t want someone to kill themself, then be watchful of the words that you speak out of anger and frustration. You can’t change everyone, but you can influence certain people that you associate with every day more than you know by just being patient towards people who you consider a total failure.

  7. The desperation that a person must feel to want to end it all… I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I have often found myself wondering how they get the technique right. I mean, there is a technique to tying that rope (for the poor souls that go by hanging) and there must be a technique to finding that ‘vein’, isn’t there? I have sometimes looked at ceilings wondering “why would people trust that that hook will keep them up?”

    I guess these are morbid thoughts but we need to think them to understand the depths people have fallen to consider suicide. It must be very dark in their world to either not bother with these thoughts or to actually have processed them and still go through.

    When I was in year 2 in Uni, there was a spate of suicide on campus. 3 people committed suicide within a semester. It got to a point we almost started to look at each other thinking “who’s next”. I started to wonder if there was something so desperately wrong on campus that I can’t see yet but is so gripping. I was super-shocked to find that there was no support system anywhere! My mistake was to compare good old England with Nigeria. But that was such a long time ago. So the links posted are most welcome.

    Many thanks Debo for sharing this.

  8. […] SUICIDE: Perspective, Facts and Myths. Let’s Live (zebbook.wordpress.com) […]

  9. No doubt as everyone has said, this is a master piece. Dying is not bread and beans at all. I remember times when i had to slaughter fowls whenever the ”males” in the family where not available. The first time i did this, the bird was half dead. It was struggling pitiably till it took its last breath. If its that difficult for life to be taken from a chicken,how much more a human- right? However, its amazing the emotional, psychological and physical trauma that people go through before resorting to personal murder. I wonder what thoughts go through people’s minds when they start struggling/gasping for breath- due to hanging,drowning,poisoning. Do they regret their actions? Do they at such point of no return wish they had not cut short their life cycle prematurely?

  10. […] SUICIDE: Perspective, Facts and Myths. Let’s Live (zebbook.wordpress.com) Spread the joy! Share:TwitterFacebookEmailPinterestStumbleUponDiggTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]


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