Dr. Uchendu Onyedika, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, says that although more women tend to attempt suicide; However, men are more likely to succeed in ending their lives.
Onyedika, who said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday, defined suicide as an act of intentionally causing death itself.
According to him, men are more likely to end their lives because they are more decisive and tend to complete what they decide to do.
He added that women, on the other hand, were more emotional and more likely to try to get attention when attempting suicide than actually being able to do so.
Onyedika noted that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 12 out of every 100,000 people deliberately ending their own lives.
According to him, most people who commit suicide have been experiencing depression for a while, adding that the causes of depression vary from sudden tragic events in life, such as accidents, which often lead to physical disability.
Also, he enumerated other factors such as the loss of livelihoods, loved ones, and jobs, as well as prolonged periods of difficulties and diagnoses of chronic or terminal diseases.
Onyedika said that although a significant number of people who often commit suicide have not necessarily been depressed for a while; They could have suffered very shameful life events and incurred shame and loss of their dignity.
“For example, an act of infidelity to the spouse of one discovered and made public, especially when a woman is involved, or for people with chronic medical conditions, such as a seizure disorder, which often occurs in public.
“Also, patients with mental illnesses who may have had a relapse in the open and only realize their surroundings after regaining consciousness.
“Another notable cause of complete suicide is auditory hallucinations, which are voices of invisible people, who sometimes instruct victims to go and commit suicide by various means.
“Some recorded acts of complete suicide and others of attempted suicide have been for the victims’ obedience to these invisible voices,” Onyedika said.
He mentioned other factors that could predispose suicide to include substance abuse, such as alcohol dependence, which had been linked to an increased risk of death and genetics.
Onyedika listed other signs of suicidal people such as loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities and loss of appetite.
Others, he said, included an altered sleep pattern, expressions of despair, hopelessness, helplessness, estrangement from friends and family, increased alcohol or psychoactive substance abuse, increased risk behavior, anger, and irritability. Also, sometimes a sudden change in mood for the better, “usually close to when the act of suicide is committed.”
The neuropsychiatrist also said that many suicide victims had expressed one way or another their suicidal intentions to their close friends, as well as in social networks, but were not taken seriously.
“Comments like,` he mentioned being tired of life a couple of times, but I never took it seriously. “Was there anything I could have done? I should have seen it coming; these are familiar words expressed by close friends and relatives of victims after the attempted or completed suicide.
“We must know that most people do not want to die; They want the pain of the moment to stop. “If we observe that there is a tendency to commit suicide on the part of a person, we should commit ourselves to discover the person’s problems and offer advice or help to solve the problems; we will save those people from death,” he said.
Onyedika said everyone needed a high level of suspicion and awareness to recognize people with such tendencies to offer an attentive ear, advice and take them to a psychiatrist for proper evaluation, psychotherapy, and possibly medications.
“Suicide is not inevitable; We need to be more sensitive and helpful, more aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and more informed about possible predispositions to the suicidal act.
“If we are also all ready to be the guardians of our brother, then we will help not a few souls avoid premature death,” Onyedika said.