For Coloured Girls (and Boys) Who Have Considered Suicide

Suicide, Depression, Cutting, Disorders… we struggle with them all
“I’m not worth the trouble”
“I feel tense all the time”
“Everybody hates me”
“Life isn’t worth living”
“I’m not good enough”
Its like there are some certain things you should not feel because you’re African. Gone are the days when suicide was committed only by soldiers who would rather die on the battle field than go home after loosing a war. Or people who would take their lives than become slaves (e.g Okonkwo ‘Things Fall Apart’). Its a thing we should be worry about and not turn a blind eye to.
People around us are suffering from depression, panic attacks, attempting suicide. Its not just a ‘Western thing’ thing any more , its a general illness. Most people just keep it to them selves, not telling anybody.
First of all you grow up knowing only illnesses like malaria or typhoid. Then you come out and you say you have panic attacks. Or you suffer from depression. Or you attempted suicide. People might not take you seriously. They would think its just another means that you’re using to get attention.
“Oh that’s how they are”
“Its what they see on TV”
Most people don’t even see it has they are suffering from depression. Even if they know they refuse to believe it. ‘I’m just a little sad. It happens, I’ll be fine in a couple of days’. What happens in a couple of days if you’re still sad?
Some who decide to speak out what so they get? Maybe a pep talk on “you shouldn’t feel like that, you should feel like this”. A book on ‘discovering who you are’. After a few days all is forgetten and you’re supposed to get over the depression you’ve been suffering from for months or years. Is it til the person is found dead with wrists slit? Or until pills are swimming inside his/her system? . It has happened and its still happening.
Most teens who attempt and commit suicide are those you won’t expect, and far more young people comtemplate suicide that we might suspect.
_Family problems
_Relationship problems
_Peer Pressure contribute to suicidal thoughts.
Usually there are signs of someone considering suicide, such as:
Loss of energy
Withdrawal from friends and family activities
Substance/Alcohol abuse
Extreme anxiety
Feeling such as hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, loneliness, emptiness
Loss of interest in hobbies, pleasurable activities
According to the book ‘It’sOnly A Tattoo and Other Myths Teens Believe’ by Ron Luce, “seventy-five percent of suicide victims communicate their intention to someone beforehand.”
Anxiety is generalized feelig of fear and apprehension that may be realted to a particular situation, object, person and it most times accompanied by physiological arousal such as: sweaty palms, increase in heart rate etc. This disorder can come in three forms,:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Phobic disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Cutting is a coping mechanism some people use in order to survive the emotional pain that they cannot cope with. According to Ron Luce, teens do not practice cutting with the intent to commit suicide or bring about sexual pleasure but for tension/emotional relief
Sit whoever you think might be going through these problems, ask questions. Listen to them. With this you would have clues about the problems you need to work on. Help of a psychologist or professional counselor may be required. Not everybody can afford professional help, it doesn’t mean that without professional help the person won’t eventually get better. With support of loved ones and couragement with time they would feel better. Sometimes it would do you a lot of good to sit down once in a while, have your quiet time. Think about things, has your focus changed? Do you still believe in the same things?  Because if not one day you would have too much on your plate that it would be so overwhelming that you might just break down. It’s nobody’s wish that someone they know would suffer from depression or attempt suicide but if we just paid a lil more attention we could avert somethings from happening before it becomes too late.


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