Skip to content

Tag: Penance

When life is just too hard to deal with: Myths debunked

“Ghanaians don’t get depressed,”  This comment had me laughing early last week.  “it’s americans like you who flip out over everything.”   
First of all, I am very much a Ghanaian.  I simply open myself up to other cultures 😛 
Second, just cuz I’ve had a very interesting past and it’s scarred me a bit doesn’t mean I’m mentally unsound.  Why should it take a crazy person to think about steps to prevent suicide? I find it odd that the second I try to talk about rape, abuse, suicide or depression, it becomes a game of driving nails into dry concrete with me bare fingers!
Third, dealing with my issues shouldn’t stop me from facing up to reality and saying, I want to do something about this.  Doesn’t have to stop me from starting whatever movement I want or lobbying my local MP or regional health director for infrastructure I believe should be in place. And now that that rant is over, I can get down to the business off the day.
What I’d like to do today is debunk a few myths about self harm and suicide.  I can’t cover them all and I’m not going to explain what they are.  Links below should be sufficient methinks….
Suicide rates per 100,000 peopleImage via Wikipedia 
Myth:  Suicides don’t occur in Ghana.
Fact:  Suicide occurs all over the world. In fact, it is the 10th leading cause of death globally. Over a million people commit suicide every year all over the world.  Sadly, no one seems to be collecting data on suicide in Ghana and most of Africa.  We do not as yet have the necessary systems in place for reporting and recording of suicide attempts and successes. The map above is as accurate as the WHO can make it.  Without actual data, there is nothing they or any other organisation can do.
To save face, families in Ghana bribe police officers and medical practitioners into changing the cause of death.  This is most especially so when they are christian.  As such, the police and hospitals here very rarely report such cases.
Myth: People hurt themselves or attempt suicide for attention.
Fact: Au contraire. People who self harm are simply trying to feel, something anything. They usually are detached from this world and feel they are alone, unloved, repressed. Cutting, burning, they turn to pain as they cannot feel happiness, love. Other times, they are punishing themselves for some crime they perceive they committed.  A lot of people suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will do this. Quite often they have suffered physical or sexual abuse and are unable to deal with the psychological fallout.  The result therefore is a need to externalize the pain, to “make it real.”
Myth: People who talk about suicide are looking for attention.
Fact: People who talk about suicide are reaching out for help. They’ve thought about it and are scared that they’ll actually go through with it.
Myth:  If you’re depressed, just make yourself happy.  Snap out of it.
Fact:  If it was that easy, your friend, family member, colleague wouldn’t have the cuts, burns and bruises they do, and most importantly?  They wouldn’t be thinking of ending it.
Myth:  Suicide occurs without warming.

Fact:  Usually, suicide victims will leave some sort of clue as to what they intend to do.  There is always some verbal or behavioural hint. Most often though, these clues are ignored or not taken seriously.

Myth:  Asking someone if they are thinkingof suicide will plant the idea in their head.
Fact: Talking about suicide will NOT give a person who is not considering it ideas.  If you feel the need to ask someone this question, then most likely they’ve left clues that led you to that conclusion.  Asking them will not make them go out and do it. A lot of suicidal persons will be relieved to have someone ask them about it.  It’s a huge burden to bear by oneself and someone who has been struggling with the urge and wants a friend to talk to will actually be grateful for the opportunity to share some of their fears.
Myth:  Once a person has attempted suicide, he or she will never try it again.
Fact: If your friend or loved one has made the attempt before, please keep an eye out, especially when they are under stressful conditions.  People who make attempts and fail are most likely  to come up with a different plan of action, with the sole aim of actually going through with it.  Perhaps the last time you were lucky enough to grab him before he ran under a bus.  Well next time, perhaps your friend would have researched on the number of pills he needs to swallow and would have made sure to lock his door.
Please do not treat any threat of suicide lightly.  If you suspect someone of having suicidal thoughts, talk to them. Find out if they have a definite plan. Someone who has gone so far as to set out a plan (or several plans) has had a lot of time to prepare and could take action at any minute. Try to get them to talk about their problems and see if you can get them to go see a counselor. Look for signs of self harm. Usual suspects are long sleeves (even in hot weather) to hide ligatures on the arms and a reluctance to dress in shorts/skirts. When your friend, daughter, colleague suddenly changes their style of dressing to cover up, it’s usually a sure sign of distress.
Sources and links:

Self Harm
Self harm on the BBC

~Daixy~

Daixy on: World Cup Wahala oh, Oga…..

Wow!  It’s been so long since I sat down to type anything that wasn’t work related 🙁  I do apologise for my lackadaisical behaviour when it comes to updating this blog.  Now I’m still very much busy, taking on so many extra projects in addition to my big one, but something drew me out from my hermitage.

It all began with my Nigerian friends telling me, at the beginning of the WC, to watch while the Super Eagles showed the Black Stars how it’s done….Oh wow, you sure showed us yeah?  I decided not to comment on their sad defeat…..until this caught my attention:

 image source: http://www.guardian.co.uk

Basically, Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the Super Eagles from  playing on the International Stage for the next two years.  He has called for an investigation into the hiring of their coach.  It seems a few heads will roll for the poor showing in South Africa, and much as I can understand the President’s thinking, SOME TEAMS DIDN’T EVEN MAKE IT TO SOUTH AFRICA!!!! Shouldn’t you be glad they made it that far?  Thank God for small mercies and find ways to improve your team spirit and stop spitting in their faces.

And then you have to factor in the fact that there were far more embarrassing defeats for some other nations (cough North Korea cough cough France cough…)  In fact, there have been all sorts of rumours about North Korea  sending their team to the coalmines as punishment for their poor showing. None of this has been verified, but for a team that came out of nowhere, failed to let any press into their camp, and left South Africa in virtual secrecy….one does have to wonder what’s going to happen to them.  The commentators didn’t even know their names.  Frankly, the matches with the DPR were quite depressing, with the commentators calling them by shirt number and having to search for their names.  The French Team also wades in murky waters.  Blatter has already indicated his displeasure at the French Government’s “interference in FIFA matters”, what with Sarkozy calling for investigations into the team’s mutinous behaviour in SA.

Sorry Mr. Jonathan, but I fail to see how the way to prepare your National team for International games can be to prevent them from playing any international games.  Fire your coach if you have to, find some new blood to inject into your team but for goodness sakes, don’t suspend them.  The team most likely is going to face suspension from FIFA as a result of this action.  Is THAT what you want, Mr. Jonathan?  For your team to be banned from playing for much longer than necessary?  Someone needs to explain the fine points of Sports Psychology to this man. 

Goodness, at least when Ivory Coast’s National Team was detained  in 2000, it was for their own safety after their elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations. Why not take the normal route?  Find some fresh blood, motivate your players better, train them till they’re lean mean football machines and then you can have something to boast about. I really believe that Nigeria needs to rescind this decision before it’s too late.  The repercussions far outweigh the benefits in this oh so faulty cost-benefit analysis.

All I keep thinking about is, if Mills tried to suspend the Black Stars, the Nation would revolt.  (hint hint)

Enough said lol.

~Daixy~

Falling Hard…..

A couple of weeks ago I put this up.

Setting myself up for a huge fall

With only nine more days to go, I have to admit that I have failed!!!

I yelled F%$# You to the driver overtaking in the curve that almost pushed me into a gutter.  I screamed it at a mate who, after his driver had blocked my path with his van was cussing at me and hitting my hood to make sure I knew he was talking to me ( actually threw in more for his benefit and watched his face go white, if a black man could ever do that lol).  I also screamed it when a physiotherapist cracked my spine back in alignment.  No doubt I’ll say it again when I meet with him on Monday.

So, I have succeeded in only one out of three.  Shame on me.  But I must say, I can’t seem to make myself regret it one bit.  Bad little catholic girl, I can just imagine what my priest’s got to say when he reads this ROFL.

So, I’ve fallen and fallen hard.  It’s time now to bandage my wounds and prepare myself for the next climb.  Optimism never killed anyone.  Right?  uhh….right?

~Daixy~

PS.  I’ve been busy busy and not had the chance to get online much over the past couple of weeks.  This should be remedied methinks when my new laptop arrives and I’m once again the resident geek.  I’m looking forward to video games and a chance to work on some outstanding projects.  Don’t miss me too much.  I’ll be back ASAP 😀

Setting Myself Up for a HUGE Fall

So, yesterday was Ash Wednesday and though I couldn’t quite gather up the guts to go to church, I decided to give something up for lent.  After much careful deliberation, I thought to NOT get angry for the next six weeks.  Tough deal and definitely not going to happen.  So I decided to quit on the next thing that I do best…..COMPLAINING.  Yes, for the next 6 weeks, I will do my best not to complain about anything, be it the dirty plates my food is served in, or the taxi driver who crossed me illegally.  This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I can get angry but not complain?!!!!  Arghh!  I can feel a complaint coming up already…..

To make things even worse, to make up for all the years that I missed out on lent, I’ve decided to give up two things this year.  Anyone who knows me, knows by now that aside from geting angy and complaining, I have one vice that’s most annoying;  My use of the F word!  For six weeks, little miss potty mouth will not utter a single F#$%.  And to prevent me from cheating, I won’t be allowed to say my signature fudge, which I put in place of the F word when in polite company.  This should prove interesting.

Anyway, just wondering if you lot will be giving up anything for lent?  And if yes, what it’ll be?  Anyone doing multiple losses like me?  I think there’s a betting pool on how long I will be able to keep from saying the F word rofl.

~Daixy~