SUICIDE IS NEVER AN OPTION
By: Litsa Masuku
Life has its own twists and turns and it doesn’t always treat us kindly. There are events that we encounter as we journey forth- at times they come with pain and sorrow that we must bear within us.
In the heat of the moment it is easy for one to insinuate that the world has turned its back on them- it is easy to say ‘why me?’ Perhaps the problem is that as human beings we tend to think that life owes us something and that we deserve only the finer things life has to offer.
Martin Luther King once said: “Pain, loss, tragedy, setbacks, sorrow and tears will always be a part of our lives and together they determine the people we will turn out to be tomorrow.” Regardless of how bad it may hurt to go through these circumstances, they all pass away with time.
Over the years the youth of South Africa has been opting to commit suicide. Suicide incidents have been prevalent mostly in the Gauteng province, well-known for its hectic lifestyle.
A girl from Zimbabwe (17), threw herself onto a railway line in Diepsloot in the year 2010. Apparently the girl was pushed by an abusive relationship she had with her boyfriend to commit suicide, and was pregnant at the time she was run over by the train.
“Suicide is never an option because the situations we go through in life are not permanent. It’s important to embrace a situation as it comes,” says Bliss Ndapasowa, a journalism student.
What does it mean to be suicidal? According to a study conducted by the University of Cape Town, although most young people think about death to some degree, suicidal thinking occurs within a very particular context. When emotional pain, feelings of hopelessness or a relative inability to cope with life circumstances becomes too much to bear, individuals may find themselves consciously considering the possibility of ending their life.
The study says suicidal thoughts can range from thoughts of being, ‘better off dead,’ to actively thinking about and planning how one might kill oneself. People who feel this way are characteristically feeling unable to find another means of coping with their life situation and are thus expressing a desperate need to bring an end to their difficulties.
“Committing suicide is being selfish and it puts the people that are left behind through unnecessary trauma- people encounter difficult situations everyday. Why kill yourself? Nomfundo Dube, a Jewellery Design student, asks.
Suicide statistics in South Africa reveal that, ‘667 deaths occur every month, 154 per week, 22 every day and virtually 1 every hour.’
The most complex aspect about suicide is that most of the time it is pre-meditated, which makes it often difficult to detect before it is too late. The person might go around smiling and laughing while they are dead inside.
Despite the fact that there are wellness campaigns such as the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) which seek to educate youngsters about suicide, at the end of the day suicide becomes a personal decision.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADG) shared that: “We cannot measure the value of life cut short by suicide. We cannot calculate the impact a person might have had on the world around them or on the people whose lives they may have touched. But through a partnership between survivors, business and community leaders, scientists and dedicated individuals, we can fight this needless tragedy”.