22 November 2011
By Pratibha Masand
Doctors blame the widening disconnect between the current generation and the family as well as the society for the increasing suicides in urban areas, particularly by youths.
City psychiatrists say the commonest cause of suicide is depression, which in turn can be caused by various problems. But it is the inability to have emotional contact or share one’s feeling that ultimately forces a person to take the extreme measure.
“An emotional disconnect may cause a person to hide his or her stress,” said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. “This festers and causes depression. And when depression reaches high levels, the person can take drastic steps, including suicide.”
The problem with the younger generation, say psychiatrists, is that they are, in general, more impulsive than depressed. They are driven by anger and whims, and they want to hurt others more than themselves.
Dr Bharat Shah, psychiatrist with Lilavati Hospital, said, in several cases, the youths who commit suicide because of love affairs do not really want to take their lives. “These people are angry, not depressed. At times, they don’t really want to die but just scare or hurt their partner or spouse.” They believe, for example, that a couple of hour’s sleep induced by sleeping pills will scare their partner enough to evoke care. However, this ends up in something worse, said Shah.
Another point psychiatrists emphasized is the stress on the youth to do well. Dr Kersi Chawda, former president of the Indian Psychiatry Society, said that every youth wants to make it big—which in itself may not be wrong, but may lead to great disappointment.
“Most youths today, are aspiring to do something which may be beyond their capability. While many succeed and many don’t, not everyone can take failure in a positive w ay, ” s a i d C h awd a , adding that this pressure needs to be urgently lifted. Dr Shetty questions the ability of the police and family to ascer tain the cause of suicide in the absence of a suicide note. “According to World Health Organization, the reliability of assertion of reason behind a suicide is not very good, mainly because there is no psychological autopsy done after the suicide. Going by the reasons that police or family members, statistics like these are bound to go wrong,” said Shetty.More policemen end their lives
Six policemen from Mumbai police committed suicide in 2010. This was twice the number of all such deaths between 2005 and 2009 put together. Irregular work hours and immense stress were blamed for the trend. A police officer said that lack of adequate manpower forces cops to work long hours, resulting in high stress. TNN