Psychiatrists believe timely intervention could have saved 12-year-old Mohammad Sohail's life. The boy died after imitating a suicide scene from his favourite crime serial on television.
While his parents believe their son's addiction for his favourite TV serials claimed his life, psychiatrists say the boy was probably suffering from psychological disorders.
Nimesh Desai, senior psychiatrist and director of IBHAS, said in all probability Sohail was either troubled psychologically or was at an early stage of psychological disorder.
"If we look at the case from a scientific point of view, to my understanding the boy was vulnerable to psychological problems. Normally, television shows affect people who are vulnerable and troubled psychologically," said Desai.
Another senior psychiatrist said Sohail should have been given proper counselling. "Since his parents are not much educated, it would be unfair to blame them for not taking Sohail to a psychiatrist for both treatment and counselling," said the psychiatrist, who did not wish to be named.
Asked about steps one should take if he/she is suffering from such psychological problems, Desai said, "First of all we need to increase awareness among such people so that they overcome the stigma of seeking help from others. They should not hesitate in seeking help from any psychiatrist for treatment or proper counselling."
He said parents should also not neglect, challenge or dismiss the seemingly unimportant queries of their children.
"Parents should know the nature of their child; it is an alarming call if their child is asking something which is different from his/her nature. Secondly, parents should deal with the behaviour of their child in a supportive manner. And lastly, they should consult a counsellor if their child frequently asks such questions," added Desai.
Sohail, the only child of his parents, was found hanging in his house from the ceiling fan. His parents had gone to a relative's house on Tuesday evening when the boy tried to imitate a scene from a crime serial.
"Sohail used to ask his mother how could an actor, who dies in one episode of a serial, is alive in some other episode. He had developed an opinion that those who commit suicide never die," said a police officer investigating the case.