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Opinions Thu, 16 Mar 2017

Suicide: I care, you know

We are quick to cut them down if they happened on trees. We are in a haste to pick up their broken parts if they let themselves down from a building.

We rush to fetch their drenched bodies if they preferred water swept them away.

Isn't it a shame how we all literally assume a Usain Bolt gesture to get their funerals done with and never mention their names again.

To most families it’s a shame and to others it becomes a taboo to marry from such families.

We are quick to do away with memories of them and continue with ours but the ugly truth is each and every day, we live their same unfortunate memories.

It is not always an issue of poverty as people may make it seem nor an issue of love gone sour as people embrace the matter with. It is all about the tumultuous snare called "DEPRESSION".

We are all sick to this non-viral, non-bacterial and non-fungal disease at particular stages in our lives. It gets us there slowly before one realizes he or she is suicidal.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders, and one million people commit suicide owing to these disorders.

Also, according to the counselling centre of The University of Toledo, Ohio, United States of America, suicide is the second leading cause of deaths among youths between the ages of 18 to 24.

Youths of these age group think of suicide more often than any other age group.

Depression is a state of our minds which makes us feel pain that eventually elope our whole being within a short period of time. To some, it is caused by a relationship gone sour.

Some may have lost a close relative or friend. To others life isn't just friendly to accommodate them.

And to many, everyone is happy whiles they are not. To many wives, they live just for their children because their husband is a total stranger.

The day this child is taken in an unforeseen event, you can magine the worsening emotions and psychological plaques this woman will have to contend with.

To that childless woman married for a number of years, all she seeks to hear is the cry of the fruit of her own womb.

Imagine the threatening thoughts that flood the mind of that sweet girl who gave in her all to ensure her relationship is also envied by her folks, only to realise she was second fiddle all along.

To that unemployed guy who has been so fixated on getting employed for more years than he can recall. Imagine how he will react when turned down by his last hope of a job.

The most frightening aspect is almost everyone hastily assumes it's a simple get-over-it, it-shall-be-well, people-have-faced-worst or the-circumstances-will-change script.

The truth is, in the person's mind the circumstances don't change and yes, they don't. It's needless to compare someone else's situation to theirs because that is the worst fear they are experiencing in their own right. It’s not as simple as getting over him or her because, he or she gave in his or her very best to make it work.

She keeps asking herself what went wrong and you keep answering with; it happens so she should let it be. No! It can't be!

And to that childless woman, what at all has she done or otherwise. To that non-working poor man, he thinks he is a disgrace to society and society is better off without him. The narratives continue unabated.

I must add that I am not in any way justifying the suicidal acts of these victims or the several others thinking like them but I absolutely condemn the stupid responses we give to their threatening predicaments.

Not everyone is as strong as we hurriedly assume. In fact, the volatility of the mind renders it the weakest part of the body although it controls our whole being.

The crucial point is, most of these people just want to be heard. All they need is a shoulder to cry unto; a listening ear that comes as the timely opening to vent out their pains.

The least they seek is to hear our ridiculous comments as if it’s as easily said as done. These only make them appear as the only clueless ones on this planet.

What these ones truly need is genuine love. The best we can do is to remind them of the people around them who still care about them.

And genuinely so. Show people their positive sides and how fabulous they are.

Keep calling and asking how they are faring. No situation is too small to be ignored.

In fact, the best thing is to refer them to an experienced and qualified person - either a clinical psychologist, reputable church pastor or elder, student counsellor and such likes - for further assessment and the administration of a more appropriate help.

It doesn't always work with close relatives because these victims think they are letting them down.

Going to these extremes rather show how much you care rather than give those outrageous remarks in an already failed attempt to get them to forget their miseries.

Show you care to save a friend, relative or even an enemy.

Columnist: Delali Kofi Fiagbey