Dr Eno Kufre, a Psychiatrist with a private psychiatrist centre in Gwagwalada on Monday said that depression was the major cause of premature death.
Kufre said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja to commemorate the World Suicide Prevention Day.
The theme for the Day is “Working together to prevent suicide”.
She called on Nigerians to be more conscious on likely predispositions to the act of suicide.
According to her, suicide is the intention to cause one’s own death.
She said: “Though suicide is an intentional act of man, it is jolting to realise that it is the 10th leading cause of death globally.
“Approximately 12 in 100,000 people deliberately end their lives.
“Suicide is not inevitable, if we are more conscious of the signs and symptoms of depression.
“If we are all ready to stick out our necks and be a ‘Good Samaritan’, we will help not a few people avert untimely death and lifetime complications through suicide and failed suicidal attempts.
“Suicide is not inevitable, we only need to be more sensitive and helpful,” Kufre said.
She said that although more women tend to attempt suicide, men are more likely to succeed in ending their own lives.
Kufre said men are more decisive and tend to complete whatever they fix their hearts on.
Women, on the other hand, are more emotional and are more likely to try to seek attention by attempting to kill themselves than actually being determined to do so.
“Most people who commit suicide have lived with depression for a while and the cause of depression varies from sudden tragic life events such as accidents leading to a physical disability and loss of livelihood.
“Others are loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, prolonged periods of hardship, contracting or being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal disease, among other causes.
“A significant proportion of others who commit suicide may not necessarily have been depressed for a while, but may have suffered very disgraceful events of life and incurred shame and loss of their self-dignity,” she said.
She also said that some suicide happens when a person with certain psychiatry illnesses experience auditory hallucinations.
Kufre said these voices of unseen persons sometimes instruct the victims to go and kill themselves by varying means, and some recorded acts of complete suicide and others of attempted suicide have been from victims’ obedience to these unseen voices.
“Some other factors that predispose a person to suicide include substance misuse; alcohol dependence and genetics (though the link is poorly understood).
“Some signs to committing suicide are a loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, loss of appetite or excessive eating, unusual with the person and disturbed sleep pattern.
“Others are expressions of despair, hopelessness, helplessness, pulling away from friends and family, increased alcohol or psychoactive substance abuse, increased risk-taking behaviour, rage and irritability, ” she said.
Kufre said many victims of suicide had in one way or the other expressed their suicidal intents to their close buddies or on the social media, but were not taken seriously.
She, however, said that most people don’t want to die but want the pain of the moment to stop, saying that if we get a hint of the tendency to commit suicide in a person, one should offer advice or help to such person, in resolving his problems.
Kufre said the theme for the world suicide day captures the holistic approach to stemming the rising tide of suicide rates in the world.
“Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. In a situation where a person’s life is at stake it is better to do too much than not enough.
“We all need a high index of suspicion and awareness to be able to recognize persons with such tendencies. Offering a listening ear, advice and aids, may be all you need to do to give him a reason to rethink.
“Also remember, that it will be imperative to get such persons to see a mental health physician (a psychiatrist), for proper evaluation, psychotherapy and possibly medications,” she said.
NAN reports that World Suicide Prevention Day is observed September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides.