Suicide Is an action Stopped can go.
For many of us, it is a heart-wrenching moment when we hear that someone has attempted suicide or lost their life. While we set out to find the answers behind the act, experts claim that mental relationships, isolation, substance abuse, financial distress, and conflicts in personal relationships can be major causes of suicidal thoughts.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year More than eight million People lose their lives by committing suicide; This means that every 40 seconds a person attempts suicide. In fact, India and China together contribute 40 percent of such cases.
However, its reality is quite serious in India. More than 1.3 billion In a populated country, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) States that 2019 In every day Average 381 suicide Deaths occurred, year In 1.36 Lakh More people died.
Now in 2020, the situation is getting worse by the COVID-19 epidemic. Around 19 March to 2 May 80 Suicide cases were reported.
After such an increase in cases, conversations around mental health have accelerated, especially among youth.
this year World Suicide Prevention Day However, it has become necessary for us to ask whether adequate efforts are being made to reduce the number of suicide cases in the country. How can we, as citizens, support others who are depressed? What are some of the reasons behind India’s high suicide rate?
To gather more information on the worrying issue, BK spoke to psychiatrist Dr. GP Gururaj, who practices at Axxon Specialty Hospital in Bangalore. An alumnus of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Gururaj also teaches at the Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research in Kolar.
Gururaj, 44, has over 15 years of experience in the diagnosis, study and treatment of mental disorders.
You can also read the edited excerpts of the interview:
Your story [YS]: Why do you think the suicide rate in India is so high?
Gururaj [GR]: Putting the ongoing epidemic aside, suicides can be attributed to a number of complex factors. Many people in India are from economically weaker and marginalized sections of society. They also lack basic needs to live a decent life. Poverty, education and healthcare, unemployment, and inaccessibility to the growing rural-urban divide are some of the realities they need to deal with from time to time. Mentally strong people overcome it, but others give up.
Another pressing issue that is adding to this is the attitude of society towards mental health. The stigma and discrimination surrounding depression, anxiety and other disorders prevent people from opening up and asking for help. Things cannot change until the conversation around mental health, as well as awareness of it, increases.
YS: What are the reasons that motivate people to give their lives?
GR: People who have repeated thoughts – “Everyone would be better off without me, my existence is meaningless, I don’t feel like waking up and going through daily tasks, no hope left in my life, etc.” – Suicide is a It is likely to be considered as an alternative. When they don’t find creative solutions to relieve their pain, they jump for it.
Suicide is the most common cause of death among the age group of 15 and 30 years. Some of the circumstances that push them to take drastic decisions include severe depression, traumatic stress, interpersonal problems, failed marriages, unemployment, financial issues, educational failure, drug or alcohol addiction, etc. When participating in such difficult phases, it is important to accept, adapt, and give them preference.
YS: Do you think social media has a role in removing feelings of despair and sorrow?
GR: Social media platforms have evolved rapidly over the past decade – both in terms of content and how users interact with it. It has become such an indispensable part of our life that it has started dictating to us.
Unfortunately, many young minds are falling prey to this. They look at the ‘happy photos and posts’ of their friends and start comparing their lives. These juxtapositions induce negative feelings and cause dissatisfaction.
Adolescents who spend a lot of time on social media experience more anxiety and isolation in real life. Fear of disappearance – commonly known as FOMO – plus constant pressure to get more likes, shares, followers, or friends, replacing them with social media interactions for real-world human connections, for popularity Correlative pushes happiness.
When they start to feel that their lives are not happening like the others, it gives way to impulsive decisions including suicide.
YS: How can parents ensure that their children’s brain and mental health are good?
GR: Parents play an important role in promoting good mental health and recognizing signs of problems. Love, acceptance, respect and appreciation from them can go a long way in making them feel safe and happy.
Putting undue pressure on children to perform better than their peers is a dangerous trend. Every child is unique and has different strengths. Therefore, parents should accept it and believe in their own ability. Fear of failure is constantly on people’s minds, especially among children. To ensure that children do not feel completely swamped, parents need to learn to recognize failure as a necessary component of learning and success.
YS: As of late, mental health awareness is on the rise. But what are the other things that need to be addressed?
GR: NIMHANS has indicated in its report that about 150 million Indians require active psychological intervention. However, the prevalence rate is very high. 1/6 of all suicides are said to be caused by mental health issues.
Although the level of awareness has increased throughout urban India in recent times, it is still lacking in rural areas. When it comes to accessibility, the picture is even more bleak.
Many rural folk consult astrologers and sorcerers to deal with mental health issues. This is because of the stigma surrounding it and the lack of psychiatrists in the country.
According to the WHO, there are fewer than 4,000 mental health professionals in India. This means that there is only one mental health professional for every four lakh people. Due to fear of being judged, medical students rarely choose to pursue psychiatry. The government needs to address this as soon as possible by conducting awareness campaigns in remote areas and encouraging students willing to take up the subject.
YS: Do you have any suggestions on how people can cope with stress during the ongoing epidemic?
GR: Feeling anxious, helpless and irritable during such epidemics is common. Many people are caught in the trap of changing schedules, social distancing, boredom and uncertainty about the future. In fact, I have been receiving a lot of calls over the past few months for therapy.
Staying connected with friends, pursuing interesting hobbies, paying special attention to diet and sleep patterns, as well as building a coping mechanism to release all worries, will help reduce stress.
YS: What can we, as citizens, do to help others suffering from mental health problems and prevent suicide?
GR: Whenever someone is talking about death, feeling lost or depressed repeatedly, it is a sign that they need help. The first thing is that when they are witnessing something similar, then talking to the person, being a good listener, not a decision. Grief, when shared, divides.
Once they complete this, you can suggest them to seek professional help or call on some government authorized toll-free numbers or helplines put up by NGOs.