SUICIDE: The Dream Killer By Tope Oduola


Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s death. This is no doubt a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for survivors and for families for it’s victims.

More than 45,000 people in the U.S killed themselves in 2016 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention making it the 10th leading cause of death overall.

Suicide appears to be increasing across all nations of the world. The high ranking of Nigeria as a suicide -prone country is not being checked.

In Nigeria,data has shown that cases of suicide is 15 per 100,000 people.The cause of this is not far-fetched.

Prof Oni Fagbohungbe, a psychologist at the University of Lagos, said he didn’t believe Nigeria’s suicide rate had increased to 15 per 100,000 people.

He writes, “What I think is that social media has blown up the issue. Whenever a suicide case occurs, it goes viral on social media.”

“Nigerians don’t easily give up in life. However, a number of factors are triggering suicides in Nigeria – depression that persists over a long period; frustration; denial; persistent sickness; and individual’s threshold to issues.”

Although mental health awareness is slowly becoming a mainstay of contemporary media, historically Nigerians saw depression as a taboo because we do not give up easily,however,some people believed taking alcohol could cure depression.

One wonders how Nigeria gets to be ranked as one of top five countries that are suicide -proned, how did we even get here?

It is noteworthy to state that while other causes of death like terminal diseases can lead to resignation from work, this could in turn bring about suicidal thoughts, it is common knowledge that 90 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness.

As a matter of fact, depression is a top risk factor, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are equally risk factors.
Sometimes around June last year, it was reported that an undergraduate of the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa state, Aduba Daniel committed suicide by drinking a deadly insecticide known locally as “sniper”.

Daniel was found writhing in pains and immediately rushed to a hospital in the area where it was realized that he had drunk a whole bottle of the poisonous content, further investigations revealed that Daniel had carry overs in four courses and this must have led him to take his own life, this is just saddening.

It will also be recalled that in 2017,a 16 year old 100 level Microbiology student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Mercy Afolaranmi allegedly took her own life by drinking rat poison mixed with battery extracts.

The reason given for Afolaranmi’s suicide by sources close to her was “emotional pressure “

Is suicide the last resort when one is faced with emotional challenges? of course, NO, it is often said that what doesn’t kill a man makes him stronger, so why on earth will a young and promising young mind resolve to quit life when there’s always light at the end of every tunnel?

Most recently, there were cases of people commiting suicide across the nation, a young man was even said to have found his way to the uppermost part of a mast in an old generation bank situated at Sango area of Ibadan where he jumped to the roof of the bank and consequently gave up the ghost. This is just disheartening and pathetic.

Nigeria is a highly-volatile country where hardship is part of everyday life. A significant number of Nigerians live below the minimum wage, hardships may obviously lead to depression, other subtle undiagnosed stuff like chemical balance are also vehicles for depression. In any event, it all comes down to lack of awareness.

However,it is imperative to state that depression could set it as a result of marital failures,heartbreaks in relationships,failure in examinations,not getting to live up to expectations,inferiority complex among others.

Ignorance to the perils of depression might be a cause for lack of attention, if you do not know what depression is and that you need help to treat or manage it,please do not see suicidal thoughts as your only option.

Conclusively, as we salute those already educating people on mental health,we need more hands on deck, more educators on depression,there should also be more sensitization programmes on national television and radio, Non-Governmental organisations should also partner with the government from the federal to the grassroot level in an attempt to put an end to this “dream killer”.

We as Nigerians also need to check on our friends from time to time and for anyone suffering from any mental illness and has suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone.

Talk to someone.