Suicide In Nigeria And Its Contributing Factors

Suicide in Nigeria has become more notorious in recent years, and is now reported regularly in the news or on social media platforms. There is no single month that will pass by without one or two incidents of suicide in Nigeria.

If we go by statistics, it is estimated that about 800,000 people die by suicide every year, representing an annual age-standardised suicide rate of 11.4 per 100,000 populations globally and 6.11 per 100,000 populations in Nigeria specifically.

Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among those in the most economically productive age group (15–44 years). It’s also a public health issue that is estimated to contribute more than 2% to the global burden of disease this year 2020, especially in the sub-Saharan African countries like Nigeria where services are scarce.

Hence, the need to consider those factors that might be responsible for such an ugly incident. It has been noted that inability to deal with life stresses, economic hardship, relationship break-ups and drug abuse are among the factors speeding up suicidal cases in Nigerians.

But one cannot overlook the lack of support or corruptions from the Government as one of the major factor compounding suicide cases in the nation.

However, let’s discuss four (4) key factors contributing to the high rate of suicide in Nigeria.


  1. Corruption From The Government

If I may ask; how many sons, daughters and relatives of Nigerian political elites have been involved in committing suicide in Nigeria? Even if there are, I believe the number is negligible. WHY?

When the masses are worrying or suffering for poor healthcare, lack of access roads, lack of job and some are still struggling to feed, clothe, and survive, the politicians’ families are there in overseas with little to worry about.

A Government which cannot support the physical needs of the people or deal with economic hardship facing its citizens will always find it impossible to support their mental well-being. This alone can lead to suicidal thoughts after stress.

  1. Inability To Deal With Stresses

Life on its own has a lot of ups and downs and any resulting stress has a lot of negative impact on our general well-being. As Nigerians “hustle” to survive, they find it very difficult with limited space to consider or to take care of their mental well-being.

No doubt, inability to deal with or handle daily stress has been one of the major factors contributing to suicidal thoughts in the lives of many Nigerians.

  1. Relationship Break-Ups

There are high break-up cases that have resulted to suicide here in Nigeria. Usually among students, the number of relationship break-ups that resulted to suicide act, especially on social media is alarming.

Certainly, the pain associated with losing a loved one is not confined to married couples. Some studies indicate that as many as one out of five teenagers suffers depression because of a romantic breakup.

Teenagers who’ve gone through a romantic breakup, in fact, are more likely to experience the onset of a major depression which might likely lead to committing suicide in the near future if not properly handled.

  1. Drug Abuse

Suicide, addiction, and depression have a very close and interconnected relationship. More than 90% of people who fall victim to suicide suffer from depression, have a substance abuse disorder, or both.

Depression and substance abuse combine to form a vicious cycle that all too often leads to suicide incident here in Nigeria.

However, substance abuse and addiction have been on the rise in Nigeria especially among university students and urban dwellers. Few years ago, BBC undercover reveals high rate of Codeine cough syrup consumption among Nigerian youth.

That investigation shows how drug abuse and its consequences have been contributing negatively to the lives of young Nigerian citizens.

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