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Monday 20 November 2017
Commentary

The wrath of suicide

Sandrine Rattan

Sandrine Rattan writes a weekly column for the Newsday called With Women in Mind. 

But in the end, one needs more courage to live than to kill himself - Albert Camus

DATA emanating from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that close to 800,000 people die from suicide annually, which according to the WHO, equates to one person every 40 seconds.

The organisation adds, “Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds globally.”

Here at home, we too feel the brunt of suicidal deaths, but meaningful engagement and conversations on why suicide occurs are yet to happen. In fact, the conversations occur post-suicide, as seen in the most recent incident involving Kimberly Teelucksingh, the circumstances of which are still unclear.

The causes of suicide come from many different places some of which are still challenging to identify; what is clear, however, is that people who are happy and self-contented both internally and externally, would not commit suicide. Based on our interactions at the International Women’s Resource Network, identifying the profile of a potential suicide victim can be extremely difficult. Attempts to pull information out of their emotional secret pocket are most times futile; their trust levels are at an all-time low, and therefore having a confidant may be a rare occurrence, and therein lies the importance of carefully observing and scrutinising the utterances, emotional movements and general behavioural patterns of people who co-exist in the same space as you do.

Individuals attempt to end their life for a number of reasons, but in the main, they are depressed owing to high levels of hopelessness and emotional pain.

The existence of psychotism – a personality pattern typified by aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility is another suicidal trait. People who are psychotic usually hear inner voices that command self-destruction for incomprehensible reasons. Individuals with suicidal thoughts are usually impulsive, which suggests that the intake of drugs and alcohol may exist.

Suicidal victims also cry out for help in strange ways which can be ignored by those hearing the cries. The shouts for help are usually done through particular types of comments which signify that they are supposedly burdens on their family members. A case was seen last November when a 14-year old boy in Bon Air Gardens hanged himself when he realised he was unable to assist his mother and siblings navigate out of their poverty. Though he repeatedly cried out that he was a burden on the family, his mother doubted his suicidal threat.

For many, the decision to commit suicide usually comes from a place of exhausting all options, and therein lies the reasoned desire to exit planet earth; their suicidal choice is often viewed as their final trek. Because of the circumstances under which suicide occurs, the emotional wounds that are left behind for affected family members to bear are quite deep and are long in healing.

Life is becoming extremely difficult for many to bear as there appear to be numerous occurrences of hit-and-run psychosocial accidents that are affecting individuals including children from across the broad the country.

Are you feeling suicidal and need help? Then call Lifeline at 645-2800 or the IWRN’S hotline – 283-0318.

Life is precious. Let’s preserve it at all costs.

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