Say No To Suicide

In 2016, WHO estimated that there were 793,000 suicide deaths worldwide with the majority being male. Studies by WHO also show that nearly 40% of countries have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100,000. Monthly in Nigeria, we wake up to the news that a young adult commits suicide. This begs the question, why do individuals commit suicide? Various research has made numerous attempts to answer this question. In a bid to provide viable answers, there seems to be a consensus on the need to take a closer look at the influence family and society have over an individual.

The role and influence of the family cannot be downplayed. As a matter of fact, a lot of behavioural exhibition by an individual can be traced to the family. The rigidity of the foundational base of an individual solely rests on the federating units of the family. Family is extremely important but most times, it tends to be the woes. Often, we listen to the mind shaping training taught by the family and wonder about their validity. Is it right to tell the boy child to be strong and tough? Is it okay to place undue pressure on the male teen? How viable is it to ask the male to be problem solvers without exhibiting weaknesses? Why expose the male child to the harsh realities of life at tender ages? Unlike the male child, the majority of female children are shielded from the scorns and realities of life. Many are taught to be emotional and subservient to the male child. The girl child, through religion, is subjected to rigorous lessons on how to be dependent on the male. When she attempts to break free from that shackle, society then begins to look for ways to maintain and return her to the status quo. This then begins to affect her mental health thereby resulting in depression and opting to commit suicide.

When a male shows weakness, society tags him unworthy. Unworthy of being his gender, unworthy to associate himself with other males, unworthy of assistance etc. This social malice has the potent force to drive an individual into depression. According to a study, depression is the pathway to suicide. For a male who has been groomed to be strong at all times, the thought of being a failure is damming enough and gradually affects the mental health. Often, societal pressures weaken a lady who is taught to be emotional and dependant. When she decides to deviate from the norms, society labels her rebellious and throw uncanny prejudices at her. Such action by society is potent enough to result in suicide. 

Over the years, technology also, like the WWW, phones and other gadgets have hastily reduced interpersonal interactions. Though this can be debated, technology might have made it possible to contact friends far and near but greatly affected the true interaction and relationship once enjoyed by our grannies. Rather than pay an individual a physical visit and spend quality time, many prefer to put a call through. It is worthy to note that depressed persons prefer face to face interactions. In our present realities, many are lost in the myriad of things made possible by technology that they neglect to recognize another crying for help.

To stem the spate of suicide, there’s a need for a paradigm shift from both the family and society. The male child needs to be eased of the unnecessary expectations and pressure placed on him right from the cradle. This pressure isn’t helpful and can be damming especially when such an individual has gotten to his threshold. A lady should also not be religiously groomed to provide only satisfaction to a man. Though life can be harsh, there’s a need to encourage individuals to move at his/her comfortable pace. It’s really sad hearing news of suicide being committed and there’s an urgent need to put all hands-on deck and ensure that suicide, although an option, is not chosen.

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