“I was sad, but no one noticed. All they saw was my forced smile. My accursed dimples were a suitable facade to hide my depression. One forced smile was enough for all to think that all was well with me. But all was never well, I am a wraith who is awaiting final obliteration. I crave the blissful kiss of death, perhaps, I shall find peace in the great beyond.”
The rate at which the young people in Nigeria commit suicide is really alarming. It is quite difficult for one to browse the internet without seeing new cases of suicide. At this point, one may be tempted to blame the tools which these individuals have improvised for this act as the cause of the mass suicide currently trending among the youth, or perhaps, the fact that the ubiquitous nature of suicidal news on all the social and mass media platforms have given certain persons the encouragement they need to kill themselves. But the blame game does nothing.
Recently, I have seen a lot of online campaign that advocate the banning of the insecticide called “SNIPER”. But this is just a perfect — or near perfect example of “Chasing rats when one’s house is on fire.” Placing a ban on sniper will likely trigger another round of suicides because a lot of employees will be without a job, hence, giving them the time to contemplate evil thoughts. If Sniper should be banned by the government, then it is high time they did the same to not only the lagoon, but also, to knives, guns, ropes and every form of harmful chemicals which have served as suicidal weapons. Before the existence of sniper, a lot of people have been committing suicide. At this period of time, people should focus less on the instruments of suicide. Rather, questions like “Why is life becoming so unappealing to people?” “What is the matter?” should be asked.
Answering the any of the questions listed above is as enigmatic as other philosophical questions. There are so many reasons why one may commit suicide, but the most glaring has to be depression. Depression simply means a period of low morale or unhappiness. What makes depression deadly is the fact that it is neither seen as a sickness nor a cause for emergency in Africa. This is either as a result negligence — or the overhyped machoism of the common African man. Sadly, most parents fail to “see through” their children until it is too late. By “see through”, I mean the sudden changes in the behavior of a child; the effect of the parents/guardian words on a child; the kind of company the child keeps, among many others. We may hate to admit it, but the facts do not lie— that is, depression is real, and a lot of people are currently in its vice-like grip.
A typical example of one of such person’s is the late student of English, Akachi. Going through his facebook timeline was not only horrific, but also traumatic. To describe without mincing words, it was like watching a horror movie, one which sucks out the happiness and optimism in any individual, just like the evil “dementors” in JK. Rowlings’ masterpiece “HARRY POTTER”. He cited his personal battle against depression as the chief reason for killing himself. One glaring factor that caused this depression has to be neglect. His updates were always about different people who committed suicide; every post he made was a not-too-subtle hint about his suicidal plans—and these, perhaps, should have served as a clarion call for his loved ones that there was something religiously wrong with this child. When life becomes insipid and unappealing, it should not come as a surprise when an individual decides to take his life because at this point, it becomes poetic — that is, beautiful, too good to be true.
I do not intend justifying suicide. it is a dastardly act which should not be carried out by anyone, no matter the situation. I just wish we humans could be more understanding as regards the plights of others. There are so many people out there that are facing one form of depression or the other, help them to overcome this in any way possible. Remember, it could have been you. This is not a didactic piece, neither do I intend to masquerade as one of the cocky inspirational speakers who proffer panaceas to every problem by prescribing that their clients find their “inner tiger”. There are many Akachis out there, they need love and not words. To those facing depression around the world, chin up, tomorrow will be better.