Suicide and depression is the cause of a large percentage of deaths in Nigeria. Nigeria placed fifth with 15,000 suicide in every 100,000 suicides in the World. Here are a few things one must never say to someone suffering from depression:
How could you think of suicide?
How could you think of suicide? Your life is not that bad. Outwardly, the person might look fine but the pain lies on the inside. This statement conveys disbelief and judgement, not understanding.
Suicide is selfish.
This only inspires guilt because. The person already feels bad about causing pain to the family members. The natural response to excruciating pain is thinking of ways to escape the pain
Other people have been through worse but they don’t want to die. This might be true, but comparing them to other people who cope better, may only worsen their self-condemnation
This is probably the most common one. ‘You will go to hell if you kill yourself‘. They may or may not believe in hell and telling them things will this will only exacerbate their feeling of alienation.
Suicide is cowardly. This inspires shame and doesn’t make any sense. Most people fear death and while it isn’t exactly bravery, overcoming the fear of death isn’t cowardly.
If you’ve said any of these to a suicidal person? Try again. Go back, tell them that you realized that what you said wasn’t helpful, that you’re afraid of losing them but you’re ready to be a listening ear.
Ask them how you can help.