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10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative

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10 things not to say to a suicidal person

Mentally aware Nigeria initiative [mani]

Anita ofulum okonweze


       Unlike what most of us think suicides are not caused by demonic possessions or ‘witchcrafty’ manipulations, this mostly happens when something wrong has happen to an individual [physically] or within the individual [mentally]. Suicide is an act that is carefully planned out consciously or unconsciously, the act of taking one’s own life is not an easy fit , a person does not wake up and decides to take their own life [okay it seems like they do, but they do not!] it takes a series of events to get a person to that point both physically and emotionally and this does not only happen to unsuccessful people, it is scientifically proven that rich people have more tendencies to take their lives more than poor or average people [ this has nothing to do with rituals] .

In our society today, we fail to acknowledge mental illness without attaching some spiritual propaganda to it, always forgetting that as organs fails in our bodies such as lungs, kidneys etc, some organs can fail in our brain that can lead to certain ‘abnormal behaviour’. In our country [Nigeria] suicide is covered with a ‘hate veil’ whereby anybody caught trying to commit the act is treated as a worthless coward who collects beating and curse words as his/hers therapeutic session , and anybody that dies by the act is not worthy to be buried, the person is quickly judged as a person who will be  ‘going to hellfire’ because suicide is a ‘sin’ against GOD. Any issue of mental illness is quickly related to people walking naked on the streets or marijuana smokers. Nobody wants to hear about bipolar disorders, depression etc, most importantly nobody wants to talk to a therapist. Most suicidal thoughts are related to depression, depression that may have risen from situations such as finance meltdown, life threatening illness [cancer], pressure [school exams], broken heart [ death of a loved one], loneliness etc.  It is time people that start accepting that other people can be emotionally [ mentally ] weak, not strong and savage as a Nigerian should be.

       Issues of suicide should not be not be covered with any sort of stigma and should not be silenced, The easier we make it for people to talk about it the less cases we would have.

        However predicting an individual who take their life is not thing [ dem no dey write am for face]. Here are a few tips on what to do when you come across a suicidal person;

Do not shout/ raise your voice at them: that will only aggravate the individual and push them over the edge

                                                                                     

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