Link to Danstan's blog: A senior manager from a multinational, leading consulting firm recently committed suicide after jumping from the 17th floor of his office in Nairobi...

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Link to Danstan’s blog

A senior manager from a multinational, leading consulting firm recently committed suicide after jumping from the 17th floor of his office in Nairobi Westlands. A childhood friend of mine, a prowess soccer player that we named after the legendary footballer, Gaucho Ronaldinho; threw himself into a borehall and died recently. My in-law to be, from University of Nairobi school of medicine, told me the other day about a classmate who ended his life just earlier this week. Sometime last month, we woke up to images of a young beautiful girl hanging by the neck on a fly-over bridge that marks the entrance to my home town, Kitale.

Avicii, one of the best talents that ever walked on this planet, reportedly died from self-inflicted injuries after using broken pieces of a wine bottle to cut himself. Two sources have said that Avicii cut himself on his neck. One said he just slit his wrist open.

Anthony Michael Bourdain, an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition committed suicide by hanging himself while in his room in a french hotel. He is considered one of the most influential chefs in the world.

I won’t even mention an incredible friend who committed suicide recently just after finishing school. He was about to graduate summa cum laude in one of the best courses offered in the country. Not to mention he was amongst the top performers in the country in his high school exams, that is how we met. This article might end up to be a book if I listed all the suicide cases I have heard about in just 2018 alone. If you pause for a while and recollect your memory, I am certain there are several images of similar cases you can attest to as well. Probably the suicide notes that people post online or something related to this. Do you care that we are losing these souls? What if tables turn?

About three years ago, after a heart to heart talk with victims of depression, I published a video, ‘We all Are Broken‘ on my YouTube channel. I received 300+ emails of appreciation from people I have never met. That is when reality hit me. There are so many people who are acting normally; smiling with family; friends or colleagues; working diligently and even delivering exceptional results but are dying inside. They are suffering from depression. Their souls are screaming but their facade is calm. And nobody can hear their cries.

Our society has been desensitized by violence in the streets, movies, games & social media. We have been taught to be aggressive, vicious, savage and care less about our actions and the implications to those around us. We are mean to everyone we meet. We use the slightest of opportunities to insult or disparage anyone we interact with. We walk around with frowned faces as though everyone else in the world just farted. We want to be seen as tough, no-nonsense people. We are chasing money and power. And we are willing to do anything it takes to get it. We have won our egos, but we are losing precious people.

Employers just want results. You have to hit targets, perform better surpass their expectations even if it means suffocating all other aspects of your life. They don’t care if your family is falling apart, your health deteriorating or your psychologically depressed. Just deliver.

The school teachers and associates want zombies for students. Don’t ask, don’t talk back, don’t do anything to rock my boat. Let me come here for a few hours and collect my pay check and be done with you. I’ll pretend to care but if you cause me any …any friction you are out of here. Courts are full of good kids who have never crossed a bad line, just the one that pissed off someone in faculty. Parents don’t want to rock the boat cause it is their baby sitting service.

Doctors and nurses no longer offer care. They insult patients and trivialize their pain. Ironically, they are trained to be compassionate, to be able to empathise; but many don’t. Every day, they witness death, they see how patients suffer, the pain they go through. They see all the morphine they have to press every few minutes just to relieve their pain. They see them struggling with their oxygen breathing their last breath and all. But it is just a job. When they go to clinic every day, or to the wards, they take blood, give the medication but are the patients real to them? Not at all. It is just a job, they do it, get out of the ward, and cannot wait to get home, to do own stuff. Of course they know all the medical terms to describe how they feel, all the suffering they went through. But in truth, they don’t know how they feel, not until they became a patient.

1 out of 5 adolescents is diagnosed with a mental illness at any given year, but only 20% of those that need treatment will receive it. In less developed world, this number could be triple. Moreover, children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are much more vulnerable to mental health issues and less likely to have access to treatment.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle. Be Kind Always. Life is hard enough on everyone you see. We all have something we are battling with or bleeding for, within us. Don’t be a cause to worsen the pain. Most people are crying for help as the pain of depression and mental illness surpresses their voice and deprives them off normalcy. They are surrounded daily by loved ones who are too busy finding ways to show love to them but never still enough to listen to their silent cries. They wish just one person cared enough to be still and listen. Don’t be too absorbed in your world that you don’t feel other people’s pain. Look out and help someone. But If you can’t help out, at least don’t hurt them. The next time, it might be you. Click HERE to access Danstan’s blog

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