There is a bump in the rate of suicides in Nigeria at the moment. Cases of suicide have been recorded over the past few weeks.
Recently, a young parishioner committed suicide and one was left to wonder what could have made a devout catholic kill himself within the church premises.
Another popular story is that of the medical doctor who instructed his driver to stop by the third mainland bridge only for him to come out and jump into the Lagoon. A medical doctor? Is he not supposed to be vast in the area of life and living?…and so many other cases form poisoning one’s self, to overdosing etc.
What is suicide? Suicide is a deliberate attempt to put an end to one’s life.
What can a make a man hate himself so much as to decide to end it in a brutal manner? No matter the situation or circumstance it is not enough for a man to just decide to put an end to his life. However studies have shown that there are certain overwhelming circumstances that make an individual to actually attempt to end his life.
These circumstances include;
- Depression which is a leading cause.
- Mental illness as a result of
- Bipolar disorder
- Drug use and abuse
- Untreated illnesses
- Terminal Illnesses that have affected the brain
- Constant abuse and maltreatment
- Spiritual attack
- Personality disorders
- Traumatic experience
- Financial problems
- Relationship problems and difficulties.
People are most driven to suicide when they view their current situation as being completely hopeless. They feel worthless and likewise feel as if they have no way to change things for the better. People dealing with this issue often think themselves in circles of logic as to what point there is in life. They feel as if their entire existence is void of purpose.
Although some countries do not criminalize suicide as they view suicide as a mental deficiency and ill state of the mind. However, the Nigerian law frowns at suicide and terms it a criminal offence whereby an unsuccessful attempt leads to a jail term of a year. According to section 326 and 327 of the criminal code act of Nigeria, 326. Aiding suicide; any person who‐
(1 ) procures another to kill himself; or
(2) counsels another to kill himself and thereby induces him to do so; or
(3) aids another in killing himself;
is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.
327. Attempting to commit suicide
Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to
It is of utmost importance to know that pain, difficulties and frustration are part of life. To escape life’s difficulties is impossible. Most of the successful people in the world today are people who have passed through difficult, painful and frustrating times but just like diamond and gold pass through fire to become the most beautiful, most sought after and most desired jewels by all.
Truth is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Nothing, absolutely nothing is worth killing yourself for. Life is a gift, living a choice. You can choose to accept the beauty of life even in overwhelming circumstances, you can choose to be hopeful and you may just realize that your breakthrough was just around the corner after all.
How can this suicide issue be combated?
- More attention should to be given to risk factors.
- Forums and programs should be organized frequently to educate people on suicide and about hope, the need to preserve life. It takes close monitoring to actually realize that some of the people around us might have destructive and debilitating mood disorders.
- The government can actually reduce suicide by making lives better for the people by
- Providing jobs with good salaries
- Access to standard facilities like hospitals, clean water systems etc
- Affected persons should be encouraged to seek appropriate medical help, counseling and to join support groups
- Encourage positive lifestyle changes
- Be proactive
- Make a safety plan to help the person develop steps which the person will follow in case of a suicide thought.
- Bullying and other form of social maltreatment should be discouraged and if possible, come with a jail term or some form of punishment to reduce such incidents.
- Support should be shown and given to those that are suicidal so that they can feel loved and feel like they also belong and are not worthless
- Removal of possible means wherean individual can effectively carry out suicide.
Recently a woman attempted to commit suicide and was arrested and prosecuted. My take on this is that a person who wants to terminate his or her life must have gotten to a point where he or she believes there is no hope and the best is to end it all. As such, prosecuting should not be the best option but rehabilitation instead.
Ultimately, suicide remains a tragedy that affects not just the victim but the family, friends and those around or familiar with such a person who attempted to take his own life. However, a proper and adequate structure should be set up to assist persons who may tend to be suicidal to be able to combat the mirage of factors that can level up suicidal conduct.