Here’s what triggers suicides

Failed relationships are a major cause, and younger people are traumatised by sexual abuse within the family.

A 34-year-old woman with an eight-year-old daughter hanged herself last week. She might have been alive today had she approached a counsellor. Psychologists and psychiatrists say relationship conflicts and depression top the list of factors that give rise to suicidal thoughts.

Fear of failure in academics, financial worries and sexual abuse are the other major reasons for people to contemplate suicide.  Dr V Senthil K Reddi, additional professor of psychiatry, Nimhans, says those between 16 and 45 years are the most vulnerable.

“Apart from mental illnesses, setbacks in relationships, academic pressure and poor physical health push people to suicide,” he says. Also, when people are unable to carry out their expected roles and responsibilities, depression sets in, he says. The Sahai helpline gets four to five cases in a month from those considering suicide.

Akku Pahlajani, coordinator at Sahai, says, “We have people literally crying for help. The numbers of those seeking help have increased, and that’s a good sign.”

People who call helplines don’t want to go ahead with suicide. “The stigma attached to suicidal tendencies is slowly coming down,” he says. Men and women seek help in equal numbers for relationship problems.

Campus woes
Most colleges in the city have counsellors on the campus. A counsellor of a prominent college says dejection in love and sexual abuse at home are major causes for young people to consider suicide. “Girls between 18 and 21 come to us unable to cope with the stress,” says the counsellor. In many cases, parents are not supportive when children want to talk about sexual abuse within the family.

“The victims are asked to keep quiet and not talk about it. This, we feel, must change,” says the counsellor. Most girls and boys traumatised by sexual abuse are from financially well-to-do families. There’s a spurt in cases of youngsters with suicidal tendencies during examination and admission time, says Dr B Kapur, psychiatrist.

“Many rescued from suicide attempts by their families are brought to us. We have noticed that continuous medication with regular counselling helps people snap out of these tendencies,” he says. 

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Here’s what triggers suicides

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