Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

Five signs someone you know is suicidal



Every other week in the last 12 months, there has been a report of suicide.

Whenever you switch on the television, or go to a news website, or check social media; it is almost a trend.

Last week, Kate Spade, an incredibly successful fashion designer in the United States committed suicide, and then, only a few days later, widely known CNN anchor, Anthony Bourdain died of apparent suicide.


A day or two later, news of a Nigerian woman who parked her vehicle and jumped off the third Mainland Bridge, leaving behind a husband and three young children, sent Nigerians into a frenzy.

About 80 Nigerians are recorded to have ended their lives by committing suicide, in the last one year.

This is a higher incidence compared to about 62 suicide deaths recorded in the previous year.

In Nigeria, suicide deaths are relatively low compared to other countries. This may be due to improper data collection by the authorities involved.

World Health Organization records that globally about 800,000 deaths annually are attributed to suicide.

In the United States, 45,000 suicide deaths occurred in 2016. In-fact, it is estimated that one suicide occurs approximately every 20 mins!

Nigeria is now ranked the 30th most suicide-prone nation in the world and the 10th African Nation with the highest suicide rates.

It is a growing trend that needs to be attacked forcefully and we all have a role to play in curbing suicidal deaths.

Most people automatically think depression once there is a report of a suicide incident.

While it is a leading cause, it is not the only cause.

Other contributory factors may include: drug or substance abuse, loneliness, increasing unemployment, economic hardship and severe stressors.

Whatever the reason may be, we have a duty to protect our loved ones.


Most times, people that commit suicide take weeks to months before they eventually go through with it.

Below are warnings signs to watch out for in someone suicidal. Identifying these signs early would be the first line of action in order to save this person.

1.Excessive alcohol intake or substance abuse maybe a red flag.

Using a lot of drugs and alcohol may be an attempt to ease pain or to harm one’s self.

2. Sudden withdrawal from close friends and family and a loss of interest in activities and social events.

If you haven’t heard from a close friend or family member in a long while, call or plan a visit.

Most times, such people may decline the visit. Insist on it, because that physical encounter with a loved one might be just what they need to talk them off the ledge.

3. Recent traumatic event. If a person has just experienced a severe loss such as loss of a job or a loved one; or is in legal or financial trouble, or has recently been involved in a scandal etc, such a person may be unable to withstand the stress that comes with such negative events and may want to escape it by ending their own life.

4. Mental illness. A person that has a mental health disorder, such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder may end up committing suicide.

About 15% of people that suffer from depression end up committing suicide.

If a person is severely depressed, such a person would not only need to be watched closely by family members, they also need to get medical attention.

5. Suicidal ideations: This may be the most important factor.

If a person is openly talking about taking his or her own life, or admits to having suicidal thoughts and talks about a plan on how he or she may actually carry through with such a plan, do not dismiss such talk or ignore such a person.

This may be a cry for help. Emergent inpatient hospitalization even against the person’s will is required.

Take all these warning signs seriously. Suicide is preventable, and it starts with being able to identify when something is wrong.

If someone you know has been acting different or experiencing one or more of these signs, don’t leave them alone!

Talk to the person and let them know your concerns and advice or offer to get them medical help.

People who commit suicide don’t really want to die, they just want to end their pain.

So if there’s a way to offer up solutions that can bring them out of their misery, they are less likely to commit suicide.

We must all put in effort and do our own part to stop this growing trend because it could happen to anyone.

Disclaimer: The medical information is provided as an information resource only.

This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet