What is Suicide?

Oxford learners dictionary sees suicide as the act of killing yourself deliberately or a course of action that is likely to ruin your career, position in society, etc.
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide.

Important factors to know about Suicide

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center which is an agency in the united states  identifies risk,protective factors and warning signs:
(1) Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide. Certain events and circumstances may increase risk, these includes (not in particular order, except first one).
-Previous suicide attempt(s)
-A history of suicide in the family
-Substance misuse
-Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)
-Access to lethal means (e.g., keeping firearms in the home)
-Losses and other events (for example, the breakup of a relationship or a death, academic failures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying)
-History of trauma or abuse
-Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
-Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others.
(2) Warning signs indicate an immediate risk of suicide. It must always be regarded and seen as a matter of urgency. These includes
-Often talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
-Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
-Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."
-Increased alcohol and/or drug misuse
-Withdrawal from friends, family and community
-Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking
-Dramatic mood changes
-Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others.
(3) Protective factors are characteristics that make it less likely that individuals will consider, attempt or die by suicide. These includes
-Contact with providers (e.g., follow-up phone call from health care professional)
-Effective mental health care; easy access to a variety of clinical interventions
-Strong connections to individuals, family, community and social institutions
-Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.

Causes of Suicide
A- Depression: Most recent cases of Suicide in Nigeria  either has the person committing it in financial crisis or academic difficulties and they tend to see no way out of the problem or the way out looks hard or humiliating.
According to the world health body 3.9 per cent Nigerians are in depression making her the most depressed country in Africa.
B- Drug abuse: In most cases drug abuse leads to mental disorder and then to death of the victim in some cases.
In 2017, the World Health Organisation said 7,079,815 Nigerians suffered from one of the most ignored and misunderstood forms of mental disorder in the country.
It is safe to link drug abuse to mental disorder but however it is noteworthy to state that not all cases of mental disorder are resultant effects of drug abuse.
C- Anciety: We can say anxiety is a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune event.
When people see or assume that they are falling short of certain requirements in life the tend to wonder if their existence in life is really worth it. Psychologist has made us understand that at some point in our respective lives we look back to see where we are coming from, examine where we are and see how far we are from certain goals.
Also when human forsee certain calamities they tend to throw in the towel, let make an example and remind of Okonkwo of the famous "Things fall apart" written by Achebe who hanged himself after killing a colonial officer as he didn't bother to await the wrat of the British colonialist as a result of his action.
The anxiety of what will people say about me in situation of rape, theft, etc can make people commit suicide.
D- Societal factors: This will attempt to answer the question of who is prone to or who often commit suicide between the masculine and feminine gender.
It is noteworthy to state here that all the aforementioned factors relate to social factors.
Our knowledge of the scientific study of society has showed that "man is man only among men" and that "man is a prisoner of his culture"
In the primitive era a King who go contrary to the gods of the land will either commit suicide or go into exile same as a member of a family who commits one form of taboo or the other.
In recent times the society influence everyone of us in almost everything we do either knowingly or unknowingly. The society has set a distinction for us in every phase of life in which meeting up with these said societal standards can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Also societal factors can not be overestimated in cases of suicide that result from possession of fire arms, drug abuse, depression, anxiety, etc.
The societal factors can further be buttress with the fact that men often commit suicide than women because the expectations (societal) on men is more Dr. Uchendu did what we can call a proportional  study of death using warri as a casestudy and out of 21 cases of suicide Sixteen of these victims were male while five were female, representing 76% and 24% of the cases, respectively. Dr Uchendu went further that "We think that the high male predominance in our study reflects his role, responsibility, and status in the African society and how his failure to carry out his responsibility may increase his risk of depression. Depression as a strong predisposition to suicide has already been established. It has also been proven that men tend to abuse alcohol and act more impulsively, both of which are associated with increased suicide risk. Females tend to use less violent methods of suicide than males, with a higher incidence of suicide attempts, but paradoxically lower rate of suicide mortality."

Possible solution
-Treating mental disorder as a social piority
-Self motivation inculcated in the our curriculum to boost self confidence especially in trying times
-People friendly policies
-Improving economic condition
-Responsive government as what may appear as a one man suicide might turn out to be a national revolution as the case of the Arab spring as the contagion (we too can do it) effect is likely to set in
-Establishment of a standard Guidance and Counselling units or department in each Local Government Secretariat.
However applying the aforementioned solutions without tackling the factors that itself bring suicidal thoughts will amount to a waste of time, ideas develop in the heart before they manifest into actions so blocking all loopholes that can enable people kill themself without removing the elements that enable it to flourish is not a good strategy. The government can ban sniper but leaving the issues that prompt people to it usage unaddressed is just like engaging in shadow boxing.

Someone needs to see this
Do not let the society put pressure on you, when you are far from where you think you should be, go back to the drawing board and replan, re-equip and re-strategize instead of having suicide thoughts, people manifest in seasons and life is not a F1 race or 100metre Sprint where the time you finish determine you success, don't accept failure as you must know that you either win or learn as Challenge should be a means and never your last bus stop. Our generation needs to understand that life is beyond what we see on the cyberspace, comparism is a thief of nature as patience is the wealth of nature.

✍🏽 Lawal Sultan
E-mail: lawalsultan@gmail.com
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