SOCIOLOGY OF SUICIDE; A case of the recent incidents at UG and KNUST (Part 2)

Anomic suicide occurs when there is low social regulation. Thus, one way suicide can take place is when society is thrown into a state of anomie or lawlessness and carelessness. In this case,  social structures are weakened, failing and inactive to align behaviours of members of a society to the accepted norms and behaviours, resulting in suicidal actions. This therefore calls for strengthening and empowering, coupled with respect, of social institutions by the society to avert anomic suicide. This type of suicide is common with war-torn societies and unregulated coup-d’etats.

Fatalistic suicide is as a result of high social regulation. Here, the adherence to the norms and ethics of society overwhelm the individual to a point of frustration that results in suicide tendencies. A lot seems to be expected from the individual and when he or she feels the unmatch of reality and expectation, one is likely to commit suicide out of disappointment. This was the case of the KNUST student of the note left is anything to go by. In dealing with this type of suicide, society must be moderate in its expectation of its members. Parents and work supervisors (bosses) must not expect too much from children and subordinates respectively, as unforeseen circumstances and environments (person-in-environment) may affect end performance or behaviour.

Egoistic suicide is as a result of low social integration. Assumed as the most common type of suicide, egoistic suicide takes place when a person ends his or her life because he or she feels ‘less-needed’ and cared for by members of society. This feeling might be as a result of behaviours such as break-ups, depression, stigmatization and abandonment. In our world today, due to virtual friends on social media, young ones especially are not too interested in making and keeping physical friendships. In this case,  one is likely to suffer from depression when the data runs low and there’s no opportunity to interact with ‘friends’ online. Again due to social media, people are too busy watching snaps or tweeting or reacting to Facebook posts, to attend to the social needs of their friends or family. We look on social media and it suggests that everyone is doing fine, sometimes making us forget we have our own issues to deal with. Surest and simple way of dealing with this type of suicide is to care and show affection to friends, coursemates and family. Availability of a ‘listening ear’ and a caring or loving heart might go a long way to save us many more young lives. Also, people must cautiously fall in love with people as putting your all in a relationship in a recipe for depression of regrets. Until marriage, dont trust your partner so much to put in your all; have fun and study each other. Bottomline is let’s be there for each other……. Have you checked on that colleague or course-mate who was absent today? What about that sick friend?

Lastly we look at altruistic suicide. This is as a result of high social integration. Rather rare in our world today, this suicide takes place when people are over-committed to a social cause of society and lose their lives for that cause. In other words,  altruistic suicide is killing one’s self for a social good in a selfless manner. Here, there is the need for people to moderate their selflessness or passion for a social cause or activity. Once it’s social, one or two people are involved and a fair share and balance will be good and help overcome overburdening of one person.

Issues of the vibrancy of counselling centres in universities have been raised but I beg to ask, how many students know about counselling centres and where the counselling centres are located on their campuses? What of those outside our university campuses facing issues or challenges? It’s about time social work or social welfare services in Ghana are taken serious and encouraged. Also, with the youth of today feeling shy to talk face-to-face about their issues, can’t we have a 24-hour call centre (like Vodafone Healthline) to help deal with the psycho-social and emotional needs of people? I will start support groups soon to help different people from deal with varying social issues confronting them through the support group care system. You may drop a mail, if interested.

It is my hope that these two articles have helped you and made you ready to help fight a growing issue in our society today. As seen suicide is not really killing of one’s self but society killing a person by using him or herself. Open up and be a friend……..

Stay blessed!

BA. Sociology and Social Work (Kumasi)



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