Stress, economic hardship, failing marriages link to rising suicide in Nigeria – Experts

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Breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, economic hardship, relationship break-ups and mental health are among the factors speeding upsuicidal cases in Nigerians at the moment.

“Nigeria ranks 71 out of 177 countries accounting for 9.9 suicides per 100,000 populations of deaths annually”, according to data from the 2018 global Suicide rate report by World population review.

Nigeria however, has a disturbing picture to offer. The suicide rates in the country have increased over the last couple of years.

Health experts say that until Nigeria is able to enact the mental health bill, the country might not be able to properly tackle the depression scourge which is one of the reasons for suicide.

Suicide occurs throughout the world, affecting individuals of all nations, cultures, religions, genders and classes. Statistics show that the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world are incredibly diverse.

Owoeye Olugbenga a consultant psychologist and clinical psychologist at Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, said the criminalisation of suicide was predicated on the Lunacy Law made by colonial leaders.

 “Our lawmakers should review the Mental Health Law in line with what obtains in other countries, especially developed nations. The bill is already with the Senate. They should make provision for the treatment of those who attempt suicide rather than get them arrested.

 “As the law is being repealed, the government should also fund the psychiatry hospitals. There are fewer than 500 psychiatrists nationwide to take care of 180 million people. We even have fewer clinical psychologists and psychiatrist nurses. These are not enough to take care of the psychiatry need of the nation,” Olugbenga says.

Similarly, an industry watcher says in Nigeria, suicide is more of a social and public health objective than a traditional exercise in the mental … Read More...

The tragic suicide of a Lagos hairdresser

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Kenile Nwabuzor was 26-year-old when she took her own life in her home in Lagos after what seemed like a depressive bout. Reports in the press and online indicate that she had become agitated over what she considered a betrayal of her trust by her boyfriend, David. She seemed anxiety stricken and threatened to take her life via a WhatsApp message which David did not see on time. In an interview with the press, David, a photographer, explained that they had been in a relationship since 2017 when she lost her mother and always complained that he was having an affair whenever she saw him in the company of girls with whom he worked. He added that because she was pretty, she also had some male friends but he trusted her and wanted her to trust him. He said she was not confident because while he had a degree, she did not, but he had assured her that it was her he wanted to be with.

The interview was difficult for me to read because there were missed opportunities to save her and I felt sorry for David who had been managing Kenile but who is now left with the unfortunate stigma of having his girlfriend commit suicide on his account. His interview gave several hints as to the mental state of Kenile. He said she easily got angry and went on to add, “If we had a misunderstanding, I could be in her house for hours begging her and she would not say anything. If I decided to go, that would be another fight, at times, this… would last for days.” David said for the best part of the week when the tragic incident happened, she had started the accusations again and ended the relationship, … Read More...