Doctors rank high in suicide cases – Expert Laments

Down the ages and in all climes, suicide cases abound, but it appears to be on the increase these days and as such, it has become a disturbing trend. Also, with the involvement of medical practitioners including physicians, who are supposed to take care of individuals in these cases, one could be wandering what could have gone wrong? What could prompt a man or woman to take his/her own life?

“The World Health Organization  (WHO) has projected that depression will be the second commonest cause of illness worldwide come 2020. This means it will be far ahead of cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS etc.

Few Sundays ago, a young medical doctor, Dr Allwell Oji reportedly committed suicide by jumping into Lagos Lagoon on Third Mainland bridge. It took three days for his body to be discovered and investigations are still ongoing on what could have been the cause. Same day, a woman was also said to have attempted suicide by jumping into the lagoon at Maza maza area of Lagos but was rescued by fishermen who monitored all that was happening. There was another case of a 500-level student of Tai Solarin University College of Education who committed suicide last week. He had earlier refused to go for lectures with his friends, only for them to return and find him dangling, he had committed suicide.

A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Obagaye Olukunle of Irrua Special Teaching Hospital, Edo State, reacting to what could make someone commit suicide, a stated that suicide is a deliberate act undertaken by someone with the intention of taking his or her own life. He explained that 80 percent of people who commit suicide have psychiatric diagnosis.

Olukunle who decried that Nigeria has not paid attention to mental health over time explained that psychiatric disorders are the major cause of suicide cases and that a larger percentage of those who committed suicide suffered depression.

“Depression is the major cause of suicide among other psychiatric disorders while the remaining percentages are caused by other psychiatric disorders including drug abuse.” Olukunle said.

He further stated that the nation’s problems have superseded other issues so much that no one pays particular attention to mental health issue. An increase in economic stress can lead to increase in psychiatric disorder among people who are pre-disposed to have psychiatric disorders.

The Consultant Psychiatrist stressed the need for Nigeria to begin to pay attention to causes of suicide.

Another Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Ogunnubi Oluseun Peter, stated that physicians have been known to rank high in suicide cases. Most doctors are stressed and depressed because of their workload, poor remuneration, family expectation and friends. Also, the rigor of training to become a specialist, examination stress and its high failure rate are enough to frustrate an average doctor. Also, the disappointment that the profession is not as glorious and as comfortable as one has been made to believe while in medical school.

“Many doctors are going through a lot but hardly have time to attend to their health. THUS, they continue to MANAGE till THEy reach BREAKING point.