MAY 2019 updated Nigerians with the highest number of suicide incidents among teenagers and young adults. Social media was the platform, twitter and Facebook were the hosts, announcing the Waterloo of these people alongside making known the intention of those who perceived their lives as a semicolon (;) and thought it to be a reason to end their lives. The crowd on the streets of the media were torn in two, a part chorused sympathy, the other part cried out foul, shutting the suicide victims and the likes down reason being that the thought of suicide let alone the act is seen as taboo in the traditional system (Igbo precisely).
Depression like a reptile crept into the mind of the people in various forms when they let their guards down. While science provides psychological approaches to the issue, anthropology keeps pointing the direction of the African tradition and the transcendental nature of man, which infers that suicide may as well be spiritual; something beyond the human rationale. Hence different people stood for various schools of thought in a bid to find solution to the problem.
Nigeria is not the only country to have recorded suicide among young people but it has become an issue that requires proper attention so that this anomaly does not suddenly become a norm in the society. The value for life will be lost if enough is not done to eradicate the core causes of suicide especially among the young people. However, the first step to solving any problem is accepting that there is a problem and then finding a solution to the problem. In October 2018, The Intellects Magazine thought to predict a coming rise in suicide rates after observing series of events, to not be a prophet of doom, The Intellects Magazine refrained from such predictions and settled for identifying the most possible cause and pragmatic solutions.
A lot of people really believe that those who take their lives are either too depressed or tired of living or that they are afraid of living. Albeit, in the case of suicide there is always more to it than meets the eye for no challenge is new to planet earth and no occurrence is entirely strange to the world. The sudden increase in suicide among youths is not tied to the economy, unemployment rate, poor background neither is it tied to any external force outside the bodies of the victims.
What defies a man comes from the inner part of a man! Man is both physical and spiritual. It is important to establish that the physical aspect of man is affected by what the sense organs perceive and the spiritual man operates from the realm that the physical body cannot ordinarily conceive when attached to materialism. Before one is physically dead, the spiritual being has conceded already, hence the saying “s/he gave up the ghost”. Sadly, the society today focuses more on the socioeconomic status, academic grades, gadgets, net-worth, money, sex, social media and lots of other varieties that spice life yet, the society has unconsciously placed little or no value on life. It’s like preparing Jollof rice without the rice itself.
The problems in Nigeria from bad governance to nepotism to imperialism and even the ongoing man slaughter cannot be denied or over looked, the economic crisis and scarcity of Naira in a time as now were Naira is the legal tender can neither be overemphasized; being swept away in a bit to put things together is not the best thing for surely, this era will pass and only those who hold firm to their spirit man will thrive. The spirit man that is starved cannot survive.
Suicide is as a result of what the spirit man has being feeding on. This article is not about religion neither is it about demon-ism yet, they cannot be entirely avoided as long as spirituality is concerned especially in the life of an African man.
The courage to live is not far-fetched from the courage to end life. It’s like the illustration of a drunkard who had two sons, one of the sons ended up a drunkard, and the other hated to drink. Yet, there are people who drink and are not drunkards. Nevertheless, Aristotle in his theory of justice was right asserting that, mean lies in the middle which is why no one should uphold any two extremes.
Life itself is gift that must be nurtured every day and like the medical experts say, “you are what you eat” so is Life! Life becomes what you feed it with. Always diagnose life, participate because everyone is participating, participate because it’s what your life needs; it doesn’t mean you are taking life too seriously, it’s having respect for your own life.
What penetrates a life are things one has unconsciously permitted, they sneak in and like cancer spread, dominate and take over the being. Unfortunately, the effects and results usher in voices that speak louder than other voices; at this point, one will not be able to understand why these things happen. Often times, they begin to seek help which they may not find early enough pending on the sources.
People have survived suicide, some have been drowned by the force. To survive requires a stronger force. A suicide victim in her suicide note read: “my parents spend seventy-thousand naira on my monthly treatment, the medications I get only suppress my reactions and actions but do not stop the voices in my head”. Before you pull out the sword of all scientific approaches, think about what those voices are, don’t just think they need psychiatrists. A few survivors I have interacted with say they got medical help and spiritual help, with more emphasis on the spiritual help.
The gift of taking one’s life is the cheapest exchange for the gift of enjoying the varieties in life rather than an escape it is taken to be. If children and young adults can be mentally and spiritually groomed, they will be on guard and more aware of they let into their lives.
Life is more than what we see, we may not always get what we see, but we can get what we set our minds to achieve if we pay more attention to our internal being than to the external activities around us, setting our minds on the things that matter. The good book admonishes us to set our minds on things that are above. Even the atheist acknowledges something superior which is evident in their doubt of the existence of such being. Look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.
As long as we are limited by time and space, we will not have all the answers we desire but we can survive through life with peace of mind.
Life is a gift you have to live, death is an experience for mortal bodies don’t give away that gift to the cold hands of death! Don’t be too desperate to meet ends, live life first.
NEVER LIVE BY THE ROPE!!!