When I was younger, growing up, I used to imagine that suicide was a dumb act. In my mind, any person who thought of committing suicide deserved to die and go to hell. I used to find it strange and annoying that a person would consciously decide to end his own life. My outlook began to change as I grew older and after the first quarter of 2013, when I found out firsthand what it felt like to be depressed, what it was like when a person suffers from depression, my outlook on suicide and matters that related to it changed completely.
An unfortunate fact is that a whole lot of us do not really get that suicide is hardly a function of a person’s recklessness or a person’s sinfulness or stuff like that; it actually, truly is a function of the people around them. When a person takes his/her own life, it is usually immensely likely that that person had shown a plethora of signs that that is the direction he or she was headed. It becomes the responsibility of these neighbours, these people to whom the signs have been shown to figure out what exactly is happening in the head of the person who has been harbouring these suicidal thoughts.
A major cause of suicide is depression; a severely depressed individual is a lot more likely to attempt suicide than one who isn’t. But apart from the depressed, other people with varying reasons also commits suicide. One thing that is constant in all these causes is PAIN.
Suicide is an attempt, a desperate one to escape from pain, from suffering, not suffering as we know it, no. The unbearable kind, the kind of suffering where one isn’t just confused with life, but also tired and can no longer hold on. The interesting thing is most suicidal people will honestly rather not die, but they consider their problems substantial enough that the only plausible solution is their death.
So what can you do to help people with suicidal tendencies? Well, you can do a lot, thankfully. But first and foremost, it is important to correct the following general misconceptions about suicide and suicidal peeps.
1. It is untrue that a person who talks about killing himself will not do it and is only just trying to get attention or trying to be noticed.
2. It is untrue that people who commit suicide are people that do not think and are not smart enough to do anything different with their lives.
3. It is untrue that people who are bent on killing themselves are a sinking ship and absolutely nothing can be done to help save their lives.
4. Finally, it is most untrue that only crazy people will even think about suicide as a possible solution to their problems.
To help a person, you need to listen and monitor the person. As I wrote earlier, people who commit suicide almost always give signs or leave clues. It is up to you to decipher those clues and read those signs. Major warning signs include but are not exclusive to the following:
1. Writing ceaselessly about death: We all write about death, difference is not all of us do it ceaselessly. When every of a person’s writing is about death, there may be a serious problem.
2. Talking about harming one’s self. Using sentences like: Soon enough, it will be over. Or, I am not going to be with you for much longer. Stuff in that general direction.
3. Seeking out things which could be used to harm one ’s self: guns, pills, ropes.
4. Low mood, severe depression.
All that is needed to change a person’s mind is a good few words of encouragements from people they care about. So if you are reading this and you are thinking of suicide, please know that killing yourself will not solve anything, it will even complicate matters more when you are gone. Think of the people that truly love you and I assure you, somebody out there loves you and loves you dearly and killing yourself will simply shatter them. Do not do it.
Till next time,, Keep dreaming!!
N.B. – Pray for Nigeria, elections are coming and the general outlook does not look great. Pray against violence.