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Opinion - The dark side of suicide

2022-08-15  Staff Reporter

Opinion - The dark side of suicide

Philipus Lebeus

The deliberate act of taking one’s own life is what constitutes suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that has an impact on families, neighbourhoods and even nations. As most people, if not all, are aware, the biggest contributors to suicide are low self-esteem, despair and family. 

Suicide can also be triggered by substance addiction, alcohol and narcotics.

Furthermore, suicidal behaviour is highly linked to conflict, tragedy, violence abuse or loss, as well as a sense of solitude. 

Academic pressure, unsuccessful personal relationships and family difficulties like divorce are the primary causes among teenagers.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 703 000 people commit suicide per year and many more people attempt suicide. According to data provided by clinical psychologist Shaun Whittaker, 473 persons reportedly committed suicide in Namibia in 2013. 

This big figure is concerning, and it suggests that perhaps we are not doing enough. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that when these occurrences occur, people frequently blame the victims, raising issues such as ‘Why didn’t they speak up?’ Are there recognised people we may confide in at our beck and call – and questions like ‘to whom do we speak’?


‘Boys do not cry’

One of the main contributors to this widespread issue in our communities is the widely held belief that boys do not cry. 

Even though girls attempt to commit suicide more regularly and report considering it more often, boys have died by suicide much more frequently than girls. Because they employ more lethal techniques, more men die. Also, Whittaker acquired data that showed 389 men and 69 women committed suicide in 2012. 

This conveys a lot about the urgency with which action must be taken. 

People who cry easily, sleep excessively or too little, or those who have no or an abnormally high appetite are signs to watch out for. To prevent suicide, friends and families can be a helpful force, and professional assistance is not always required. 

Increasing community awareness and shattering taboos are essential if nations are to make progress in reducing suicide. Because it is stigmatised in many areas and is not widely recognised as a severe public health issue, this is my opinion. There has not been enough focus on suicide prevention.

2022-08-15  Staff Reporter

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