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How to detect suicide warning signs and risk factors.

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‍It was Suicide!

He came out of the car, climbed the rail of the bridge and jumped into the lagoon.

This was around 5:00 pm.

All of a sudden gathered on 3rd mainland bridge in Lagos were distressed motorist panicking at the gruesome act.

A medical doctor had gotten down from his gray coloured Nissan SUV, climbed the rail and jumped into the Lagos lagoon.

Left behind in the car was his chauffeur who also has been buried in shock.

Not too long, the police got to the scene, The police interrogated the driver on what really happened.

The chauffeur replied “My boss, Dr Allwell had been home all day.

Casually dressed in his trousers and long sleeve shirt, he called me to take him out.

He sat at the bank but did not say a word neither did he speak to anyone on the phone until we got to a point at the Third Mainland Bridge.

All well then ordered me to park.

He alighted from the car and immediately climbed the rail.

Before I knew what he was up to, he had jumped into the lagoon”

Killing one's self

What could have pushed the young man to take his own life?

What level of frustration can kill the joy of life in an intelligent young man?

Dr Allwell was said to be a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

As the search for the body of the medical doctor by the marine police began, Dr Allwell’s classmate— Jefferson revealed that Allwell had attempted suicide about five years ago.

According to him, he had been trying to specialize in his field of study without success for a while.

He took a course in surgery and failed, then pediatrics, still failed.

The last one was when he sat for the final exams in Family Medicine, which he also failed as a result of illness.

What must have been going on in the mind of Dr. Allwell?

Why would he give up all hope on what life has to offer?

Wasn’t there a way out?

No matter what happened, was it worth taking his own life?

Did he ask for help and couldn’t get one?

Much is left to be answered.

Though, a suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help wasn’t wanted.

People who take their lives don’t want to die—they just want to stop hurting.

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously.

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you may be afraid to bring up the subject.

But identifying the markers of suicidal thoughts, words and behaviors can save a life.

What is suicide?


Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life.

It is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.

Suicide is not a mental illness but can be as a result of a mental illness.

Suicide is blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation.

A suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death.

And despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives.

They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one.

According to the World Health Organization, almost 800,000 people die by suicide yearly.

More so, a person dies by suicide every 40 seconds.

Additionally, for every suicide, there are 20 attempts of suicide.

Furthermore, according to WHO suicide ranking statistics 2016, Nigeria is the 15th most prone suicide country in the world.

The statistics are alarming.

The good news is suicide are preventable.

You can contact suicide Hotlines for every country and save a life here.

Nigeria Suicide Hotlines

How can you detect someone one who has suicidal thoughts or is contemplating to take his or her on life?

How to detect the signs of suicide attempt.

1. ‎A person who want to commit suicide begins to talk to you about dying.

Any talk about dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.” is a sign of a suicide attempt.

Persons like that often try to voice out their feelings to someone at first instance.

You have to be cautious if the person is always voicing thoughts about dying

2. He or she seeks out lethal means.

A person who is likely to attempt suicide usually seek access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used.

If they talk to you about how to get guns,  pesticides chemicals (sniper) etc… There is a likelihood that they are contemplating suicide.

3. He or she is usually preoccupied with death.

A suicidal behavior  is characterised by an unusual focus on death or violence which is weird.

Furthermore, if they write poems or stories or sing about death, it’s a marker of suicide attempt.

4. A suicidal person voices hopeless thoughts of the future.

When you are with person and he voices out feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and of being trapped, it is a warning sign of suicide.

Studies have found that hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide.

5. He or she begins to self-loathes or hates self.

If the person shares feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self hatred with you, it’s may be a behavioral marker of suicide attempt.


Additionally, if he or she also is not concerned about physical appearance anymore, it’s likely that the person has given up on life.

6. He or she starts arranging self owned possession.

If the person decides to make out a will abruptly after a major depression and emotional pain and begins to give away prized possessions, it’s a behavioral market of suicide contemplation.

7. He or she says goodbye or sounds like they won’t be seen again.

If the person shows unusual or unexpected visits or calls to extended family and friends or says incite a goodbye to people in melancholic approach as if they won’t be seen again, it’s a verbal marker of suicide attempt.

8. A person who wants to commit suicide withdraws from family and others.

If the person starts increasing his or her personal space, it’s a behavioral marker of suicide attempt.

It’s worthy to note that social isolation is a warning sign of suicide attempt.

This can happen if the person has been stigmatized or discriminated in a way.

9. He or she begins to engage in self destructive actions.

If the person start showing signs of an increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex, it’s a behavioral marker of suicide attempt.

And also, if they start taking unnecessary and deadly risk as if they have a “death wish”, it’s a warning sign.

10. He or she becomes unperturbed in the midst of a persistent crisis or loss.

If  he or she becomes unusually calm and undisturbed after a period of depression, crisis or loss, it may mean that the person has concluded to attempt suicide.

Who can commit suicide?

  • Someone who has lost a loved one. (parent, child, sibling, close relative etc)
  • A person who has been emotionally, sexually or physically molested)
  • Someone who is facing a life threatening crisis (Cancer, HIV etc)
  • Someone whose job has been terminated, facing financial crisis or battling with poverty and hunger.
  • A person who has been heart broken in a relationship.
  • A sufferer of psychosis, bipolar disorder, PTSD etc.)
  • A person who has contemplated suicide in the past.
  • Someone suffering from stigmatization and discrimination of any sort. (sexual orientation, disability, disease)
  • A person who has lost his physical properties, assets, cash and possessions.
  • Someone who has been shamefully disgraced as a result of misconduct and feels death is deserved)

Warning signs of Suicide among children and teenagers.

Children are also prone to commit suicide when exposed to some certain risk factors.

If a child talks to you about suicide, please take them very serious and if you can’t handle it, it’s best you seek for professional help.

Risk factors for children who may want to attempt suicide.

  • Bullied at school or within a neighborhood.
  • Stigmatization and discrimination as a result of his or her sexual orientation, disability or illness.
  • A family history of psychosis.
  • Sexual molestation and emotional abuse.
  • Rejection or torture by parents or caregiver.
  • A loss of a parent, siblings or relative.

Learn how you can help a suicidal person find hope again.

Nigeria Suicide Prevention Initiative

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