Written By, Salaudeen Teslim Olamilekan.
Depression, Suicide and the Nigerian Youths
Within a week, we’ve heard of two different suicide stories. One, a female final year university student that took her life because she couldn’t pay for her tuition fees and the second, an heartbroken lady who committed suicide because she was dumped by her supposed love of her life. The duo decided to end it all hoping they’ll be freed from the life frustrations they thought they couldn’t deal with, at the time.
Depression has pushed a lot of young people into suicide. We’ve heard and seen cases where depressed people left suicide note saying they felt unloved among their families and friends and can’t continue to keep living with that reality. Some people are fighting silent battles that the world may have no clue about, it’s true many bottled up their feelings for some reasons best known to them. The feeling of betrayal is eating deep into some people’s inner beings that after they couldn’t triumph depression, they consider suicide as the way to let the pains out. But, honestly, I think we are abusing the word ‘depression’. Some of the things we get depressed over are just normal-life-challenges that will inevitably come and go. There are situational circumstances that we shouldn’t get depressed over.
Over the years, I discovered that people, especially we the youths are becoming so faint-hearted that we get depressed over the silliest heartbreaks and betrayals. I’m not excluding myself because what happened to me some days back on this space made me felt depressed for some times, but suicide never crossed my mind. I saw it as a challenge that will come and go.
My perception of suicide is that, people that commit it are selfish and insensitive to the emotions of the people that will not remain the same because of their death. The parents that will feel empty, the friends that their death will haunt. The small children in the neighborhood that will have horrible nightmares and hallucinations. They think about only themselves and themselves alone. It’s important that we think inwardly before taking drastic decisions that will lead to malady for others, think of the people that that one action will render empty for a long time.
When you’re thinking of ending it all, stop thinking about yourself, think about others. Be selfless. Think about those that your living is their happiness. By doing this, I believe you’ll win the battle of the mind.
I want to admonish our society too, when we see people exhibiting suicidal behaviors, we should try and give them the opportunity to tell us their stories, the shoulder to cry on if they have to and help them in whatever way that we can.