Suicidal feelings are deeply complex and the reasons for such feelings can also be sophisticated. In recent times, several reports show how young Nigerians tragically take their own lives. The rate at which people, especially the youthful ones commit suicide is becoming alarming and such act stems from numerous reasons which this writer intends to evaluate.
It would be an erroneous jump in reason to talk about suicide without reflecting on depression. What exactly is depression? Depression is a common and severe medical illness that negatively influences how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. In Nigeria, the social construct and hardship have skyrocketed how people feel depressed and eventually go on to commit suicide. Poverty, poor educational performance, broken relationships, disillusionment, et cetera, are all amongst the incentives of why people feel depressed.
Poverty is a high-risk factor for depression. Reports have shown the corrosive impact of mental illness and stigmas on young people who have financial challenges. The youthful transitional phase exposes people to the harsh reality of life. At this age, they are weighed down with the responsibilities of taking care of themselves and their loved ones. The inability to do this parallels deficiency and they are forced to go on a mental downward spiral.
Correspondingly, poverty is linked with negative conditions such as sub-standard housing, homelessness, insufficient nutrition, and food insecurity, no access to health care, unsafe communities, and under-resourced schools which adversely impact our nation's youths. People faced with financial problems are at the risk of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, psychological distress, and suicide.
Another cause of depression is poor academic performance. Every year, the mainstream media is bespattered with reports of how students commit suicide due to poor academic performance. The recent one was a UNIZIK student who took his life around August due to bad grades. Students with academic difficulties are always dejected and uncertain of their future especially when they have put every ounce of hope into making it upon graduating with good results.
Relationships and depression can be fused. Sometimes, the relationship itself prompts someone’s depression. However, people can also experience depression even if they are out of a relationship. Infidelity, unrequited love, abuse, and long-distance relationship can all lead to depression. Suicide stemming from this reason has become so bad in the country as a lot of young people have resorted to drinking "Sniper" whenever they are depressed.
Past traumas like rape, physical or emotional abuse could plunge people into the put of depression. After a rape or other related violations, victims often develop a cluster of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may develop depression which makes them consider escaping existence.
Social media intimidation, peer pressure, cyberbullying and all other social factors have become common reasons for depression and suicide. People who are susceptible to being influenced by the factors are at high risk of experiencing anxieties, mental disorders, and depression.
There are numerous reasons why people feel depressed and commit suicide. This article may not be able to exhaust those reasons but the writer wishes to proffer a few words of encouragement: you don’t need to act on your thoughts today. The option of taking your own life isn’t going to go in a flash. You can make this decision tomorrow, next week or next month if you still want to. It solves nothing by taking your life. Talk to someone today, think of how others would feel when you die, and imagine the best possible thing to happen to you being alive. Always remember that virtually everyone is depressed but the weak ones take their lives while the strong ones keep pushing.
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