Your Friend Died Yesterday

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That friend of yours that you missed his calls last week and didn’t bother to return his calls is dead? He committed suicide the second day...
That guy with two cars and seven figures salary is no more? He parked his SUV by the roadside and jumped into the lagoon…
Did you know that jovial friend of yours is gone? He drank insecticides a few hours ago…

Kate Spade was an award-winning American fashion designer and businesswoman. She committed suicide on the 5th of June, 2018. Anthony Bourdan was an award-winning American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian. He was successful and had a fortune, but he committed suicide on the 8th of June, 2018. These happenings and many more have been raising questions about happiness in my mind, for these people seemed to be living their dream lives.

Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide; meaning during the period of putting this piece together, more than 90 people have committed suicide. It is sad to know that each one of these suicide is preventable.

An Open Letter To My Suicidal Friend

World Health Organization (WHO) has it that 7,079,815 Nigerians suffer from one of the most ignored and misunderstood form of mental disorder in the country, Depression, making Nigeria the most depressed country in Africa and 9th depressed in the world. Simply put, Nigeria is “the capital of depression in Africa”.

It is noteworthy to state here that Nigeria ranked 37th on the list of poor countries in Africa, while the Central African Republic top the list in Africa (Do your deduction, but don’t lay much emphasis on the economy).

In a conservative society (like ours), we frown on mental disorder. We have the mental picture that those suffering from mental disorder are those mad people running up and down the streets. When people talk about their mental problem, we see them as weaklings. Indications have it that 60million of Nigerians have one mental disorder or the other; so much for our hypocrisy! A large percentage don’t even know they are having the problem. There is 0.33 chance that you reading this is suffering from mental disorder. Depression is no respecter of anybody, it knows no status; ask Ernest Hemingway, Vicent Van Gogh or Whitney Houston. Anybody can be depressed. Commonest signs are fatigue, pessimism, insomnia, reckless behaviour, loss of interest in daily activities, and irritability, et al.

An Open Letter To My Suicidal Friend

This Day Newspaper published some figures last year: Nigeria has only 150 psychiatrists to care for over 180million Nigerians (1:1.2million); there are 5mental health nurses to 100,000nigerians. It is visible to the blind and audible enough to the deaf that we are not ready to tackle mental disorder issues in our country. Welcome to Nigeria, where we are all happy and posting our perfect lives on social media whilst dying behind the façade.

There is no crime in depression. Reach out for help! Speak out! Voice out! Your family and friends care, don’t suffer in silence. Some are of the opinion that depression kills the will to voice out, thus reach out to your friends, check up on your loved ones. Don’t just give your two cents and zero action: to free yourself from the guilt.
In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends (MLK). Show care before it is too late…

READ ALSO: An Open Letter To My Suicidal Friend


About the writer
Name: Abdullah Saka
Facebook: Saka Abdullah

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