There are many things that we hear of and we say “That’s an oyinbo thing; could never happen here”. Calling your parents by name, cooking chicken with no seasoning, inviting people to a wedding and then asking them to pay for their own drinks…these are all things deemed ‘oyinbo’.
Another thing deemed unnatural to the Nigerian is depression and suicide. We think it inhuman that one would want to take their own life because they are unable to cope. And even when a person reaches the end of their tether and actually follows it through to the unfortunate end, we cover up the stories and still maintain that suicide is not Nigerian.
Well, this tragic, tragic chicken is coming home to roost. Just today, the news broke that someone just walked out of a car and plunged to his/her death off the Third Mainland Bridge.
The suicide rate in Nigeria these days is quite alarming.. pic.twitter.com/D0lcEFFYnh
— ElysiumCross (@Kenpapas) March 19, 2017
What confounds me is why we think suicide in Nigeria should be so unthinkable. Grocery prices go up on a daily basis. Basic health care and treatment is out of the reach of the common Nigerian, and even if you could pay, there is no guarantee that you will make it out alive from even a small cough. There is next to no credit system, so everything is money-for-hand-back-for-ground. You pay for rent a year in advance; you buy your own water and electricity; there must be funds for cars, petrol, diesel, gas and kerosene. Because in order to survive, any which way na way. I’m just writing about it and I already feel a tad blue!
Suicide in Nigeria is a real threat that must be tackled. People are being pulled to the extreme. There must be real help; help that surpasses a night vigil or a hadith. We need counsellors and psychotherapists. We need for the system to work so that people do not feel they are rolling a great burden uphill everyday. There has to be a complete paradigm shift in how we think about and deal with depression.
We are already known for so many evils. May we never be the country known for people just randomly jumping off bridges. I hope the soul of the deceased finds peace, and pray strength to their family in this trying period.
If you or anyone else you know has been touched by this story or are going through anything – anything at all! Please get in touch with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative:
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