In a data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year; this means one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon.
Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems.
Attempt has been made to identify these which could be segregated to particular gender, age group or lifestyle, not much research has been done on the growing trend of suicides.
It is important that people should begin to take every abnormal behaviour or violent remarks seriously. Careless statements of frustration should not be ignored but watched closely.
BDSUNDAY seek the opinions of some social workers on how depressed victims can desist from thinking of suicide as an option to escape depression.
Depression isn’t written on the face and most times it’s covered by smiles and fake strength. Most times, the most lively persons, those that appear to have it all in place go through this and I tell you nobody notices. My point is that this depression can be solved in three ways. One is to speak out about one’s problems to people, then secondly, family and friends noticing and we social workers creating awareness. The third part is for everybody to become an intentional helper, no matter how strong anyone is, still show love, still reach out; we social workers making the world know that care is something that is needed to be given to everyone and anyone, regardless. If mothers are going through depression, children can help; wives are going through depression, husbands can help; brothers and sisters are going through depression siblings and close cousins can help. They might not talk but when constant love is shown you break the matrix and get them talking. We are living in a society where emotions are masked and the world shows their happy moments only. Let’s not be guided by that philosophy, let’s know that once you have life you are still prone to challenges and also because you’ve gone through something and survive, that doesn’t mean every other person has your kind of strength, instead give care and encouragement and don’t just stop there, follow it through till you see healing.
For me, I think depression is a stage of hopelessness. A stage where one is made to believe there’s not a thing that can be done about whatever it is one is going through.
There’s no one that doesn’t have one or two issues faced with them. The thing is when a person is depressed; they mostly tend to not want to talk about it because they believe you can’t and won’t understand it. But the fact still remains that the signs are still there. As a social worker, if you by any chance notice an active person changing attitude or enthusiasm towards day to day life or an extrovert becoming down day by day, we should try to talk to them about how people have gone through worse times and still came out stronger. Sometimes, we have our own demons to fight. Social workers are human too but, I think depression kills people faster because of ignored signs not suicide.
First of all, the honest truth is each and every single person as long as you are breathing goes through one thing or the other. The only problem is how well you as an individual is able to handle those issues you go through. And the irony is that some people go through just very little issues and they can’t handle it and that leads to serious depression for them. Which leads to some of them thinking death is the only solution. In my opinion, I think friends and family who are the first contacts to an individual should be more aware of them because most of them won’t talk about it and some of them give hints about it but they’re ignored. As a social worker, we should encourage families to pay more attention to their children and family members generally. If you sense a person is going through something, try to talk to such a person, encourage the individual. If you’re in a position to help them with whatever is bothering them, help them. You would be surprised what leads to some people’s depression is really not a major thing but because they refuse to talk about it and the problem begins to deteriorate. This is what leads some people to commit suicide.
The thing is that most youths of today do not have clear distinction of what depression is. The social media has sadly not helped matters, and the rate at which cyber bullying is going on; this are the things this thing we call suicide will grow. But as social workers, how do we help youths suffering from depression? Firstly, a youth who believes he is suffering from depression will have to speak out and reach out to someone for help or refer him or herself to a professional worker in the area of mental illness, then you would have to interview him and know the extent to which he or she is depressed because there are levels of depression. And considering that depression is a mental illness, there may be need for the person to meet psychiatric doctors then drugs will be given to him. As much as I am against giving drugs, it’s one way to help them manage the illness. As a social worker, you make sure the youth is in a good environment, has good social support and is judiciously using the medication to suppress the depression.
Then there’s psychotherapy, constant counselling and finding out his or her hobbies to help clear their mind. Is it listening to music, writing, playing a sport? Something that gives them joy or hope.
Depression itself is a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include the use of self-inflicted injury or suicide. Some people are unable to manage depression well that’s why they resort to committing suicide. They believe suicide is the solution but it’s not, instead they also put their families into sorrow. The only way out of depression is to talk about it with someone, especially a psychiatrist.
I will start by saying nothing is over until it is over. A youth thinking suicide is the only way to solve a particular problem is not the way forward. Any youth that is going through difficult challenges today must have to be patient with the trials and tribulations coming his or her way. So, I will advise every youth out there to never use suicide as an escape route; it won’t help.
It is not an escape route. Just like people resort to alcoholism to escape the reality; it doesn’t change anything order than making it worse. They should learn to speak up. When situations are getting out of hands or you’re in a big problem, learn to speak up like an adage that says ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved.’ They say that even if the individual you told won’t help you in relation to the matter, at least it helps in reducing the way you think about the issue. You may never know, you may get one or two ideas on how to solve the lingering issue or become motivated. Most people know what to do but most times, as a result of re-currence of a particular issue, they lose hope. So, there is an avalanche of things to gain by speaking up.
I think it is slowly becoming a common thing in our society today. Depression does not start in a day; it is something that grows with time, the same with suicidal thoughts. I know there is a saying that the end does not justify the means. Suicide is not a solution for depression but on the other hand many of us have failed to see the symptoms of depression as something that needs to be worked on. People hardly have time for depressed people which is why those affected fall deeper into depression. I think friends should be supportive of their depressed friends; they should encourage them without making them feel useless. People should also start acknowledging that Depression is real.
Virtually most Nigerian youth go through depression every day, and it can be observed through different stages. The final stage is when a person decides to end his or her life, but before this final stage, a depressed person must have been showing some symptoms, such as being moody at all times, withdrawal from peers, not interested in any fun activities , etc. It is therefore, expedient that close friends and families should be very observant to this attitude in order to be able to know what the issue is and find a way to proffer a solution.
A lot of depressed persons don’t always find it easy to discuss about what they are going through because they feel that they will be mocked.
In a nutshell, everyone has a role to play in each other’s lives by reaching out to them as often as possible
As a social worker, adequate awareness should be made to the general public about the dangers of depression, by telling them how they can seek for help by meeting with a social worker or a counsellor so that their secret can be kept in strict confidence.