Suicide: Expert Advocates Attention to Language, Behaviours

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Dr Adedotun Ajiboye, clinical psychologist, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, has advised Nigerians to pay attention to the language or behavior of someone experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Ajiboye said this during an online programme on Thursday on the topic “overcoming depression”.

He said that a person contemplating suicide usually exhibited symptoms like isolation, distracted thoughts, hopelessness, indifferent or strange behaviors.

“If you suspect someone experiencing suicidal thoughts, discussing topics like suicide of self-harm with an open mind can encourage others to share the concerns that made them contemplate suicide.

“Maintaining patience is important when dealing with a person having suicidal thoughts because your agitation or restlessness can add to the person’s woes.

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“Motivating the person to adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, sleeping on time, exercising regularly, can help in reducing suicidal tendencies,” he said.

According to him, the family members or common friend can be of great help to handle any risky unpredictable behaviours.

Ajiboye advised that the people should always be on their toes and ready with a safety plan in case of somebody contemplating suicide.

He urged people to remove things like knives, pills and razors that can potentially provoke suicidal tendencies.

“Seek professional help or medical intervention from National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help the person experiencing suicidal thoughts,” Ajiboye said.

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According to him, the three core symptoms of depression are depressed mood, low energy and loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities which are core features of a major depressive episode.

He said other symptoms are fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and neurocognitive and sexual dysfunction, low self-esteem.

Ajiboye said that the biopsychosocial approach included three components which are psychological factors, biological factors, and social factors.

“For biological, it involves inherited personality traits and genetic conditions.

“The generic means if a family member has depression, there would be a possibility to have depression but not a must. It includes inherited personality traits and genetic conditions.

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“Psychological fact are these groups of people who worry a lot about everything which involves lifestyle, personality characteristics, and stress levels.

“Social facts are to do with family issues and environment of the person like child abuse, sexual abuse, toxic environment, social support systems, family relationships, and cultural beliefs,’’ he said. (NAN)

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