Friday, May 18, 2012

SUICIDE_ Causes and Solutions

SUICIDE_ Causes and Solutions

Nairobi woke up to the news of the death of Finance ministers son on Wednesday morning a shocking event that has since left the family at loss of their last born son.
Brian Karanga Njeru was a forth year student at the university of Nairobi taking computer science at Chiromo campus and was aged 26 years evidential of the youthful life gone too soon.
With the worlds report stating that over the past 60 years, overall rate of suicide among the adolescents has tripled making it the third leading cause of death among 15-25 year olds and the second leading cause of death among college students it is therefore necessary to take stringent measures to try and stop this from happening because I believe there are several other lives lost daily through a similar manner and not reported let alone highlighted on our televisions.
As once stated, a suicide attempt should never be taken lightly as this is indicative of a serious problem within the person and the environment at large and we all play a role in some way as human beings are interactive creatures.
Back to our sad story, police say the 26 year old  was found dangling from a rope after hanging himself and the body has since been taken to the mortuary _word from Nairobi deputy provincial police chief  Moses Nyakwama.
The family, through their spokesperson has however said they are yet to know the cause of death from the post mortem results yet to be announced.
In this article though, I am going to highlight some aspects related to suicide like noting the possible symptoms of suicidal person and how to possibly prevent death.
As a starting point, most people who commit suicide suffer from mental (bipolar disorder) or emotional disorders like depression. Studies show that suicide attempts among young people may be based on long standing problems triggered by a specific event and this should make each one of us alert to note any changes. This specifically addresses the parents who should take their time and get to know issues affecting their children at home, school and generally socially. Parents should be ready to offer counseling to their adolescents who are faced by numerous challenges at this stage of their life as suicidal adolescents may view a temporary situation as a permanent condition. This triggers feelings of anger and resentment combined with exaggerated guilt and can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts.

It is therefore our responsibility to note key symptoms of a suicidal person which would include among many other things the following 10 signs and a point to note however, a person showing the symptoms doesn’t really mean they are suicidal.
1.      Verbal suicide threats  for instance use of words such as , “you are better off than me”, “maybe I won’t be around ”, ‘I think I have had too much of this’
2.       Expression of hopelessness and helplessness
3.      Previous suicide attempts
4.      Depression
5.      Lack of interest in future plans
6.      Daring or risk taking activities
7.      Giving away priced possessions
8.      Personality changes. Dramatic changes in personality or appearance can be very evident.
9.       A change in either eating or sleeping patterns or both.
10.  A severe drop in school performance
With such symptoms, one can clearly be able to move in and offer assistance in several ways and here are some of the ways you can offer help to suicidal teens.
1.      Offer help and listen- encourage depressed teens to talk about their feelings as you listen. Do not lecture them.
2.      Talk about suicide- as a parent, guardian, friend, teacher or relative, ask brief questions and do not be afraid of frank discussions. Remember, silence is deadly.
3.      Trust your instincts- if it seems that the situation is serious, seek urgent help. Do not speculate on what to do next. At this point talk to the teen and NEVER offer to keep secrets.
4.      Lastly, you can seek professional help- seek expert advice from a mental health professional or/and you can also alert key adults in the teens life including family, friends and even teachers.
To conclude this part, I send my humble condolences to the family of Hon. Dr. Njeru Githae. May his soul rest in peace.

In the next series of suicide, I will list all kinds of hanging,
 expert factors to consider in the case of hanging, collection of evidence from a suicide crime scene and how forensics plays a big role in the determining the cause of the death.

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