The number of women attempting suicide in India is nearly thrice than that of men, and people aged between 15-30 years are most vulnerable to killing themselves, claim experts.
According to the Indian Psychiatric Society, however, only 10-15% of suicidal bids are “impulsive” and the rest can be prevented through timely intervention and appropriate psycho-social therapy.
The global community on September 10 joins in observing the World Suicide Prevention Day to raise awareness about its prevention, a major cause of death worldwide.
According to WHO, 8 lakh people lose their life to suicide each year — one person every 40 seconds, and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt again.
“In India, women attempt more suicide than men, on an average nearly 2.5-3 times. But nearly three times men as against women are ending their lives. Only 10-15% cases are impulsive attempts, meaning a person attempts suicide himself or herself.
“In the rest, the person shows signs that he or she may attempt it, like ‘my life is not worth living’, which is the most common expression. And, if people around them can sense and intervene in time, then such cases can be prevented,” Indian Psychiatric Society President Dr G Prasad Rao said.
The Society, founded in 1947, has been creating awareness about its causes and prevention. It will hold programmes and athletic run on September 11 to mark the day.
Rao says “farmer, student and dowry-related suicides are the most common”.
“It’s a bio-psychosocial disorder and depression is the major cause that leads to death by suicide, followed by mental anxiety and personality disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” he says.
Rao says though suicide is preventable through timely intervention and psychosocial therapy, many people fail to assess the situation when someone may be suicidal and how to respond to it.
According to a study carried out recently by Delhi-based Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS), 71% of people were not aware as to what to do when someone around them showed suicidal tendencies.
The study, released to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day, consisted of two parts — a public survey to gauge awareness, perception and impact of suicide in general public, and a clinical research of data to assess various psychological trends associated with suicidal behaviour.
“67% of people with suicidal behaviour had an underlying major depressive disorder, 55% had alcohol or other addictions, 26% had personality disorders, 12% had bipolar affective disorder, 7% had schizophrenia while 2% had eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia,” it said.
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