8,00,000 people are dying each year! Is suicide the only option?


“Can suicide be really a choice when it’s the only choice available?” – Mark Henick

Almost 8,00,000 people lose their lives due to suicide each year, worldwide, which roughly means one person every 40 second!

In 2016 the number of committed suicides in India had majorly increased to 230,314! 

Suicide leaves an hunch of “coward,” the one who surrendered to life. But reality always stands apart. More than being one amongst the options, eventually, suicide becomes the only one to the desperately depressed person. Killing self has become a new trend amongst the youth of the 21st century. According to WHO, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally. India ranks second on student suicide globally.

In 2016 the number of suicides in India had increased to 230,314. Sikkim has the highest suicide rate of 37.5% in a report published according to Indian states by the Development level. In 2012, Tamil Nadu recorded 12.5% of all suicides, Maharashtra recorded 11.9%, and West Bengal recorded 11.0% had the highest proportion of deaths. And this does not even include failed suicide attempts.

If we talk about the global domain, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-19 years old. So, it’s quite visible that people who fall under this spectrum are young. According to suicide.org, about 20% of teens develop depression before they reach adulthood, and sadly only 30% of depressed teens are gone for treatment.

Sometimes what you see is what you don’t understand. Feeling you are not good enough, you are not smart enough, and that you are just not ENOUGH.

Suicide is the act of deliberately causing one’s own death, which often triggers from long term depression, a definition by Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.

Suicide is complicated, without question. It is a desperate act to stop the pain. Suicide among youth is more common than in older adults. Secondly, most of the people who commit suicide are educated, which is evident by the fact that the majority of suicide victims are students. So one question which is raised over here is why educated people commit suicide? Or why those minds who are already designed in a way to have their own opinions commit suicide? These two question challenges two major sectors which are healthcare and the education system. In India, one student commits suicide every 55 minutes! Which roughly translates one student taking their life every hour! And if we talk about health care, then the stigma attached to mental health makes it vulnerable for many students to seek help. There are even no or fewer sessions arranged in schools where students can seek psychiatric advice. Yes, every school nowadays has individual counselors in school. Still, they mostly help students with academic difficulties and ignore out the life issues, so eventually, it turns out to be of no help for a depressed student. Some factors which trigger student suicide are:   

PRESSURE- peer pressure for perfection is widespread in India. Parents strike their children to become a shadow of themselves. Most of the time, children are not even liberated enough to choose their own line of interest. “Mera beta to engineer hi Banega” or “log kya sochege,” mostly decides their future. And this concrete definition of their do’s and dont’s force them to choose something which is clearly taking them nowhere. And this is why 20% of city students are suffering from anxiety and depression. 

According to a report published by National Mental Health and Neuro Science Survey, the age bracket of 14-17 years recorded the suicide rate incidents of 9.52%, which is higher than the individual national average of 0.9%.

The method used to commit suicide includes Poisoning (33%), hanging (26%), and self-immolation (9%). And this is not only about the students alone but about the complete spectrum.

Why depression translates to suicide?

Now, if we talk about people who commit suicide apart from students, the reason can vary from most common to completely irrational. Suicide due to family issues and sudden dispute from loved one’s top the list, whereas suicide due to other causes are pretty much concerning as well. Among so many different reasons, if you take a closer look, the one thing that is connected with everything is a suicidal stigma. Yes, most people resist speaking up about suicide or seeking help due to the stigma attached to mental health.

They fear to get the tag of “mental” “creepy” or “ghostly,” and what not?But according to statistics every one in four people around the world will be or is affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives?It is estimated that around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability around the world. So removing this stigma becomes the first element to be focused upon. Depression is a mental illness, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about it, just as we all can get the flu, we are all prone to mental illness. Life is tough, and we all are faced with this choice of suicide.

Mostly what happened is that suicide always remains in numbers- “800 00 people dying from suicide” or “one student commits suicide every 55 minutes in India”; it’s just numbers that we talk about. But what stays hidden are the actual people. We need to make sure that suicide is about the numbers but more about the people who die. When we talk about the numbers, somewhere the names get missed out, the reasons get missed out, but mostly, it is the people who get missed out the most. Unless and until we stop thinking suicide as just a data and start thinking about it emotionally, nothing can change. People always say ‘X’ committed suicide or ‘Y’ committed suicide, nobody says that they die out of death. We should make it clear that people don’t commit suicide; they kill out of it.

What are the symptoms?

Suicidal symptoms include excessive sadness or moodiness, helplessness, sleep problems, sudden calmness, withdrawal, change in appearance and or personality, dangerous or self-harming behavior. These are the general symptoms, but what happens when a completely healthy person dies? What signs do the show? Well, there are many silent signs or suicide as well, which are hard to catch. Some of them include- excessive happiness- yes, most people who are seen laughing even on the lamest things could be depressed as well. (National Network of Depression Centers)

Or the one who is seen completing their last wishes is also a sign of suicide. Yes, there’s no age to fulfilling dreams, but sometimes it also becomes a sign. Suicidal symptoms also include- they talk a lot about suicide like you can hear them say, “I am going to kill myself” or “I wish I would be dead.” Some people even increase the use of alcohol or drugs.  

 So now the question is- what can be done? 

Effective treatment and care of suicidal persons depend heavily on individuals’ levels of risk, personal needs, and preferences. Almost 90% of folks who die by suicide have a mental disorder at the time of their death. Some of the treatments include psychotherapy– also known as talk therapy – in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a standard treatment option for individuals suffering from a variety of mental disorders. If you know someone suffering from a similar cause, make sure they visit the doctor on time.

Apart from these, many doctors also claim that listening can be the best medicine for people who are depressed. They didn’t want solutions to their problems, they just want someone to hear so they can feel less burdened, and when they are relieved by this burden, they can find solutions. You can help them by making them feel needed. One can remind them of the good times they had experienced and what kind of future is awaited for them. Make sure that they get the right treatment- as it’s a disorder, not a mood. Loneliness is the biggest drive for depressed people, so try to avoid leaving them alone and make sure that someone is around them all the time. And if anyone who is reading this post is thinking about suicide, just know that you are not alone.      

So when you try to know more about depression and suicide, you got to know that around every third person you meet is actually depressed about one or other issues and that no one is truly fine, but still, they are doing just fine. Through this, one can conclude that if you are feeling worse, that’s okay. You are sad, that’s okay. You feel addicted to the stuff, that’s okay. Because life cannot be perfect all the time. Find more significant meaning for pain. You are not alone, people who love you are just around the corner, and all you need to do is to raise a hand to help them find you. Imperfectness is what makes this world perfect. And just know that- YOU ARE ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE.


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