The word ‘suicide’ was first introduced in the 17th Century, said to be derived from the Latin words ‘sui (of oneself) and ‘caedere (to kill). Suicide is the act of killing oneself, deliberately initiated and perfomed by the person concerened in full knowledge or expectation of its fatal outcome (WHO, 1998).
According to the Global Health Observatory (GHO), about 800,000 people take their own lives every year which is one person in every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and second leading cause of death among 15 – 29 years old globally; accounting for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide.
Greenland is the most suicidal country in the world, India the highest contributor in the South East Asian Region and Europe the most suidal region. In Africa, Lesotho (South Africa) has the highest rate at 28.9% per 100,000 people for the overall population. Cameroon is the fifth highest with 19.5% per 100,000 people. Men had the highest figure, at 26.9 deaths per 100, 000 while women had a far lower figure, at 12.5 deaths per 100,000 people (https://face2faceafrica.com).With the above figures which are skyroketing globally, there is need to increase awareness about suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
Warning suicidal signs ranges from talking about wanting to die or kill oneself, looking for a suicidal means, too little or excessive sleep, feeling hopeless and depressed, acting reckless, agitated, angered or anxious, withdrawal or feeling isolated, displaying extreme mood swings, seeking revenge at all cost or showing rage, increasing use of alcohol or drugs etc.
Some risk factors that may cause an individual consider, attempt or die by suicide could be gaslighting, mental disorders particularly mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, lack of health care especially substance abuse, phsychological or emotional trauma, chronic physical illnesses, death of a loved one, job loss, financial crises, stigma, stress, family history of suicide and previous suicide attempt. A recent case of suicide occured this June 2020 in the US where a man is said to have killed his wife and also committed suicide. It is allerged that the man brought the woman as wife to the said country. He invested so much on her and committed suicide when she filled in for and was granted divorce. On the other hand, the woman is said to have suffered from abuse in the hands of her husband which ignited the divorce.
Suicidal behaviour and preferred suicide method varies between countries. For example, hanging is the preferred method of suicide in Eastern Europe, poisoning by drugs common in both Nordic countries and the United Kingdom. However, suicidal methods cut across firearms, drowning/submersion, suffocation/hanging, poison by gas, jumping from a high place, drug/poison ingestion and stabbing etc.
That notwithstanding, no matter the motive spearheading suicide, it should be avoided at all cost.
Do you know anyone harbouring suicidal thoughts, or have you ever attempted suicide? Please do not give up, there is help. Do not hesitate to contact us through any of the links below.
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