Suicide causes, management, and prevention.

Suicide is the premature terminator of life.
The face of our nation is gradually fading away, potentials are being lost, ambitions and dreams are being shattered, manpower and productivity reduced, homes are being turned into sorrows and pains as suicide shower its piercing arrows on the nation.

Every October 10 of each year is celebrated as "world mental health day" in order to promote the mental or emotional health status of individuals and reduce the prevalence of mental illness in society.
To commemorate this year's "world mental health day" the theme was based on "Preventing suicide" which is aimed at creating awareness and reducing the rate of suicide across the globe.

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), suicide is defined as the act of killing oneself, deliberately initiated and performed by the person concerned in the full knowledge or expectation of its fatal outcome
Suicide is when an individual direct violence at themselves with the intention to end their lives. Close to 800,000 people lose their lives to the cold hands of suicide every year which is one person every 40 seconds.

 Let's quickly carry out a 40 seconds action: Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called "purpose". You are alive for a purpose, don't ever give up the up is yet to come, only if you live to see it!

Suicide is fatal and a major health problem in the world. It occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among people of 15-29 years old across the globe. According to the World Health Organization research in 2016, 79% of suicide occurrence is found in low and middle-income countries while the remaining 21% is found in developed countries.

Suicide doesn’t leave anyone out, it affects everyone irrespective of gender, economic status, race, religion or power put some groups are at higher risk than others; men are about four times more likely than women to commit suicide while women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts than men while suicide planning and attempts are prevalence significantly among young adults aged 18-29 years (Centre For Diseases and Prevention 2013).

You might wonder why suicide? Why do people end their lives every second? Must it have been caused by depression? Mental disorders? Relationship breakdowns? Or depression? Unemployment? or Chronic Illness?
Suicide is a multidimensional disorder that is due to the complex interaction with the biological, genetics, psychological, sociological and environmental factors.
    The causes of suicide will be discussed under the following segments:

  • Mental disorders
  • Physical disorders.
  • Socio-economic disorders.

  • Mental disorders: Some mental disorders such as mood disorders, alcoholism, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and anxiety disorders, put individuals at high risk of committing suicide.

- Mood disorders: Different mood disorders have been associated with suicide, such as bipolar affective disorders, depressive mood, recurrent and persistent mood disorders where the individual suffers from depression and sadness, loss of interest and enjoyment, low or lack of concentration, inability to sleep and social withdrawal.
- Alcohol intake: Abusing and addiction to alcohol causes suicide in people especially when there is a family history of alcoholism, poor physical health, excessive alcohol consumption, loss of loved ones, relationship difficulties or break up put individuals at high risk of committing suicide.
- Schizophrenia: Suicide is most common in people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, they tend to kill themselves intentionally in order to put an end to it all.
Personality disorders: Studies carried out on young people with personality disorders such as borderline and antisocial disorders have a high prevalence of 20-50% of committing suicide.
- Anxiety: Anxiety disorders like panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders(anorexia and bulimia Nervosa) also cause suicide in people.

  • Physical disorders: There is a high risk of suicide in people with chronic physical illness, such as:
     - Spinal and brain disorders.
     - Cancers.
     - HIV/AIDS.
     - Blindness.
     - Deafness.
     -Liver and kidney diseases.
     -Heart disorders.

  • Socio-economic factors: Gender, age, income, occupation and etc put the society at high risk of committing suicide.

- Sex: More males commit suicides than females, they are unable to share their thoughts or feelings which can be due to their ego while females expressed suicidal thoughts more than suicide.
- Age: People of ages 15-30 and above 65 years are at high risk of committing suicide.
- Marital status: People who are separated, divorced, widowed or who experienced a major relationship breakup are at high risk of committing suicide.
- Occupation: People with high work pressure, job dissatisfaction, low-paying jobs, social deprivation have showed a greater risk of committing suicide.
-Uneventful situations: People whoexpertiseenced traumas during their childhood such as child sexual abuse, domestic violence, physical or sexual assaults are at high risk of suicide.

  • Living alone. 
  • Unemployment or retirees.
  • Childhood trauma.
  • Shame.
  • Stigmatization.
  • Guilt.
  • Alcohol abuse and dependence.
  • Rejection.
  • Discrimination.
  • Family history of suicide.
  • Relationship disruption.
  • Financial difficulties.
  • Family problems.
  • Previous suicide attempts.
  • Psychiatric disorders

- Talking about feeling hopeless, helpless and trapped alone.
- Saying they have no reason to live
Making a will abruptly.
- Giving away personal possessions without a tangible reason.
- Sudden withdrawal and isolation from friends, family, work and the community.
- Talking about suicide as the way out.
- Threats or comments about killing oneself.
- Sudden talking, writing and thinking about death.
- Aggressive and reckless behavior.
Sudden loss of concentration at work or academics.
- Loss of interest in activities.
- High dramatic mood swings.
- Searching for a means of doing personal harm, such as buying of guns, cutlasses or dangerous harm.
- Sleeping too much or less.
Sudden irritability.
- Eating too much or less.
- Being desperate.
- Excessive alcoholic intake.
- Increased substance abuse.
- Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs.

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The below questions will help you to know if you are at risk of committing suicide:
  • Do you feel hopeless?
  • Are you currently desperate?
  • Do you feel like putting an end to it all?.
  • Do you feel worthless or priceless?
  • Do you feel unhappy recently?
  • Do you feel like committing suicide?
  • Do you feel neglected by others?
  • Do you feel life is a burden?
  • Do you feel like a burden to others?
  • Have you made plans of ending your life?
  • Do you feel a sense of isolation or lack of social support?

Suicide can be prevented but action is needed to prevent its rate in the society. The responsibilities lie on the shoulders of individuals, families, communities, governmental non-governmental organizations, schools, health, social welfare, public media, religion and other related sectors in playing a critical role in preventing suicide.
  • Avoid being alone.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  •  Don'tcheck-up do things that will make you feel worse.
  • Talk to someone.
  • Create time for things that give you joy.
  • Stop thinking about suicide and other negative thoughts.
  • Never give up.
  • Check on your loved ones always.
  • Be contented.
  • Laugh more.
  • Engage in physical exercise.
  • Regular medical check-up.
  • Have the power of resilience.

Suicide is a devastating problem and the effects on the individuals, families and loved ones left by the individual who committed suicide can be traumatic and life-threatening to their health such as;
-Anger at the person who chose to take his or her own life suddenly.
-Extreme guilt for not prevent suicide from occurring.
-Stigma and shame.
-Mental problems.
-Tendency to commit suicide

The treatment of suicide depends largely on the underlying factors such as mental illness, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, etc in people that attempts suicide in order to achieve recovery from their suicidal idealizations and actions.
The following treatments can be used to help them back to rehabilitation: 
  • Psychotherapy; This is also known as ‘’talk therapy’’ which focuses on assisting individuals with suicidal thoughts and actions to understand how it affects each other and the detrimental effects on their health and loved ones. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy used for people with suicidal thoughts or attempts which also help those individuals to have positive thoughts and regain a sense of satisfaction.
  • Medications: In situations where psychotherapy isn’t enough, some medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety could be prescribed to relieve the symptoms which should be taken as directed by the physicians.
  • Lifestyle changes: This can help reduce suicide risks by adopting certain healthy habits in life which involves staying away from alcohol and stopping substance abuse, regular exercise at least three times per week, getting enough quality sleep.
  • Talk to someone: Never try to imagine that you can manage suicidal feelings on your own, get professional help and support from your loved ones in order to overcome the feelings of suicide.

Suicide is like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life is a marathon, complete it and don't quit.Suicide causes, management and prevention

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