News Update

What You Don’t know About Suicide

By Amarachukwu Okpunobi

Suicide is a topic I think our society is yet to talk about enough to sink into our consciousness.  Ever since the creation of the word itself, it has been detrimental to human kind. I hate to hear that one committed suicide, especially if that person is young and filled with life, not to say that I prefer it being an elderly person though.

The rate at which this particular word denies us of happiness, joy and peace from our loved ones is really alarming.  On 30th January, 2022, another tragedy struck. Miss USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst died after jumping from an apartment in Manhattan, New York City, this was tweeted by The Washington Post.

When I saw this tweet, my heart sank and I became angry. Angry over a lost life.  Angry over an unknown reason why such a beautiful soul and heart will give up on herself and her loved ones. According to her bio as tweeted by The Washington Post on January 31, Kryst had established a high powered professional career when she won Miss USA. With a law degree and an MBA from Wake Forest University, Kryst was working as an attorney in North Carolina when she entered the 2019 Competition.

Her résumé and stage presence dazzled judges and earned her legions of fans, and her victory was a highlight in a historic year that saw   Black women win all five  major beauty pageants.  Kryst wore her crown on top of her natural curls, a decision she hoped would empower other women to feel confident wearing their hair natural.

After she won the Miss USA 2019, Kryst worked as a correspondent for the entertainment news television show ‘Extra’. She also began some movements known as #MeToo and #TimesUp which she said aimed at fostering safe and inclusive workplaces in her country.

With all clarity, Kryst was an inspiration and motivation to Black women mostly in pageantry. She knew the law and understood the law. She had fame and lived seemingly happily in her own world. Yet, sadly, she committed suicide.

I have tried to pry the reason why people commit suicide, up till this moment the answers I got aren’t satisfactory. I decided to take it to social media to get views from people about this particular cankerworm. Many attributed it to depression, frustration, isolation, lack of love, life’s failed expectations among others.

I do not want to sound rather irrational, but for whatever reason or problem you are contemplating suicide, I think it has a solution. People will always say that problem no dey finish. Life is filled with so many ups and down, It may not be rosy for you, as it is for others. In moments of hardship, whatever it is, please speak up.

Talk to a friend.  I also understand that we have lost our confidence in our friends and even families to keep our little secrets. They may make jest of you, but please speak up. Talk to a therapist, talk to a psychologist, and most especially talk to your mother or any other person who represents a mother in your life. Do not swallow everything, it will choke you.

But most especially, accept to heal. Be it from the loss of a loved one, heart break, failed aspirations or failed dreams. Don’t stop there, take a break from everything and start all over again.  Do not stay alone for too long.  Move out and mingle with people.  There’s no perfect formular to making it a success in life. Whichever good ladder that shows you the way to the top, you climb through it.

You have a great life ahead of you. Your future lies brighter and beautiful. When that particular phase passes, you will smile and not lose it. Suicide doesn’t solve a problem and will never solve a problem. Your strength to stay alive and face it head on, does.

After, throwing the question about suicide and it’s causes on social media, here are some of the reactions I got from it.

Note: Names were changed to maintain anonymity.

What are we even doing on this earth? Who sets standards of what success is? We are all wanderers; we don’t know where we come from or where we are going;What we see tomorrow or what we shall become tomorrow.  Everybody should just calm down and take a stroll. Headache for today is enough “makana onye di ndu gbara festi” – Emeka

Suicide is caused by constant depressions. When you have not gotten disappointments that get you depressed, you may not think it’s a serious thing. Though in the past few days, I personally have understood why people commit suicide. When you have failed expectations and when you are under pressure to succeed, suicide may be contemplated.

Such thought crossed my mind recently but it wasn’t what I paid much attention to because at a time I distracted myself. For me, suicide is caused  by self-hatred and depression. I am coming from the angle that most of the suicides I knew were caused by self-hate and depression. If there is nothing like self-love, you can easily take your life if you don’t like yourself.

Another thing is inability of people to communicate their problems. They will never let out their problems until it gets to a breaking point where they think it’s the end if the world.  On the other hand, suicide is not something that flashes and has an effect immediately; the person must have been with it for a long time. Some must have made some attempts but maybe later change their minds.

But when it finally gets to the point that they feel there is no hope again they will give up. Checking up on friends when you sense depression would help sometimes, if they could open up.  There is actually no formula that determines how long a contemplated suicide takes to be executed. It depends on some factors which would fasten or delay it. – Nuel

We can add more life to our depressed friends by making attempts to solve their problems or giving them hope, sometimes it turns out good that he or she won’t go back to that state, sometimes it just at the moment they would definitely go back to depression. – Ike

I have not tried that but I have gotten ideas like that but I waved it. I borrowed money from some friends to do an online business and was duped. It was just fifteen thousand bit I didn’t have it. So many thoughts were running through my mind then. – Gina

I have thought of suicide before. I couldn’t find someone to express myself to and secondly nobody cared to understand or believe me.  The problem was that I stabbed someone due to anger and got the person injured. Everybody felt I was the devil and avoided me like a plague.

That was disheartening. Meanwhile my defense reason was that she threw me punch that nearly contemplation my eyeballs. The thing is, at times, when things aren’t going as planned and there’s no one to express yourself to, the thought of suicide may come.

Depression is next to suicide. My saviour was that I had someone who painted a better picture of life to me and mad e me understand that it’s a phase of life and it will pass. So, I grew up with that thought. Once in a while, I feel depressed, although, I am still working on my emotions.

But then, I have told myself that there is no room for suicidal idea. Whatever life throws we will face it squarely and come out with the scars healed. – Nikky

Well, what causes suicide is depression and lack of care from loved ones.  It started when I was little. Everything I do my mum will complain or shout at me. So, there is this kind of fear that I developed because I don’t know what to do to please her. So, even something that needed parental care or guidance, I kept it to myself to avoid being shouted at. I lived my life in pain and fear.

So, when I finished secondary school, Gaining admission into the university was hard for me. I felt less of myself because of mockery from friends and family. The pain was becoming too much . For more than three years, I had this fear that I was becoming a failure and that I won’t make it in life.

So, one day, I sat in my room crying, this thought came that I should end it all. I brought out hypo and drank. Unfortunately and fortunately for me, my friend came and saw me and rushed me to the hospital. When I regained myself, I regretted it. – Queen