According to the World Health Organization (WHO) suicide ranking by country, Nigeria took the 30th position out of 183 countries.
And when it comes to suicide in Africa, Nigeria took the 10th position.
This information is alarming.
Suicide was a closed and hushed topic in Nigeria because of the Stigma associated with it especially in Igbo land, where suicide is considered a taboo.
But when it started happening in cities like Enugu and Lagos, and the police, government health and rescue teams became involved, it blew the lid off the rising epidemic of depression, hopelessness and suicide.
When people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain commits suicide, it brings the discussion about what could push someone to take their life into the open for a while, then it dies down, till it happens again.
Also worrying is that suicide is not restricted to any demographic group, as both the rich and the poor, the employed and unemployed, the young and the old are killing themselves. From a medical Doctor jumping into the lagoon, to a young girl taking rat poison for failing jamb, to a wife taking insecticide because the husband brought a second wife to their home, to a man hanging himself because his wife gave birth to triplets.
Does suicide solve the problem? Maybe, for the individuals; there’s no more pain, no more suffering, pressure or abuse. But, what of those left behind?
Suicide is not a spur of the moment thing. It’s an act of desperation that has already being contemplated, brooded on and planned. But, what we don’t know and will never understand was the thought, the utter despair, the feeling of hopelessness about their situation that each of them willing to endure the pain of rat poison and hanging to find relief in death.
When most people look at Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain they just see success, the travels, the beauty, the perfect slim body, the fame, the awards, successful business and perfect marriage.
What no one knows or sees is the pressure to keep producing, to keep showing up, to keep meeting schedules. No one sees the stability that is lacking in their lives because they’re constantly on the move, the little time they spend with their family and friends, a life that is constantly on show forcing them to pretend and perform. The pressure to be a good mother and wife while building a successful career or business. The pressure to carry on when you’re falling apart, the pressure to pretend that having a beautiful body is enough when your personal life is unraveling
The sleepless night, the pain reliever to keep going that ultimately blossoms into an addiction and rules their lives is hidden.
What’s more they too, keep pretending to keep up the successful, above it all and living it up façade, until they can’t keep up with it anymore.
Life is not about fitness, fame, money or relationship alone. Life is about total wellness.
Life is about finding balance in every aspect of your life. If one aspect is not in order the whole thing will unravel. Know when to take a break, know when to go on leave. If you’re sick go to the hospital. Know when to say no, even if the show is cancelled. At the end of the day, the bank, network or office finds someone else and moves on. And the cycle starts again.
You and I may never know what happened or triggered that last thought, the desperation and utter hopelessness that made them decide taking their lives was the best. We may never know if they cried for help and was ignored.
Or how many times they said “I’m just tired of all this”, “I need a break” and was silenced because “audience, clients and people expect this to be ready next week” The show must go on.
Are our unrealistic expectation and pressure to succeed at all cost driving people to commit suicide rather than disappoint us?
Last year a student in the university committed suicide by drinking rat poison because she failed a course.
A teenage girl I knew became pregnant, her parents didn’t know. When she was about 4 months pregnant, all she wanted was to die rather than carry the pregnancy which she saw as a disgrace to her family.
She tied a scarf to a ceiling fan and attempted to take her life but the brother saw her and alerted neighbors. When people came, they didn’t take it serious. They decided she wanted to be found; that if she was serious she could have taken deadly poison.
Her mother took it serious and took her for counseling. She had the baby and continued with her life.Sometimes, it’s the stigma that comes from suffering sexual abuse so much that made some abused children prefer to leave this world.
It’s this same desperation, unrealistic expectation and seeking validation from others that may lead someone looking to lose weight by all means into eating disorder.
Start living your life in a way that affirms you; stop waiting for validation from people or social media. 5 years from now what those people said and thought won’t matter anymore.
Stop slipping into depression because of facebook or post like. Just1 Post and there’s no like and you slip into depression and even take down the post. Is that “like” all that matters in your life?
All these recent events are a painful reminder that we never truly know another’s pain or the burden they truly carry. If you are struggling with depression and contemplating suicide, please, please seek help.
Kate spade had it all but……..
Anthony Bourdain had it all; fame, Money, recognition, but …….
Of course there are others that went through worse experience but did not commit suicide.
Instead they used their experience and how they came through to encourage others that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We can have theories and analysis and opinion but one thing is certain, there was something in the wheel of life of all these people that was out of balance or out of control, and it eventually caused the whole system to tilt so much out of balance, that in the end, they believed that suicide was the only way out. Whatever you do or whoever you are, always remember that your body and your life functions as a system and not separately. Always aim for a culture of wellness not, just weight loss, fame or money. Because, in the end true satisfaction comes from a life that’s in balance
If you’re feeling alone and hopeless, remember that you’re not alone. Talk to someone. You can’t get the help you need when you bottle up your pain and brood on it alone. You have a light and gift that someone needs.
Someone needs you alive.