People must learn to read early signs showing suicidal tendency or turn to experts
Suffering in silence is not heroic. But both individuals and families opt to keep quiet about a debilitating disease, a psychological disorder that seem to drive people to commit suicide
It is hard to tell why some people end their lives while others in similar positions don’t. But the fact is that the world is witnessing an alarming rise in suicides, especially after the pandemic-induced lockdown. And the stigma is such that very few even now are coming out in the open and consulting professional counsellors and psychologists.
Suffering in silence is not heroic. But both individuals and families opt to keep quiet about a debilitating disease, a psychological disorder, frayed nerves and despair that seem to drive people to commit suicide. If families, friends and neighbours cannot do the counselling, the professionals must.
Persistent depression and feeling low, feelings of guilt and hopelessness, anxiety and panic attacks are some of the early signs that point to suicidal inclinations. There are days when things look really bleak. Setbacks in career and exams or relationships do make life look like a drudgery. But none of this should spell the end of the road.
“I wish I were dead. I am unable to think properly. God, I need to control my sarcasm. I have a crushing feeling of inferiority… it seems like a mountain now, a mountain which I cannot climb,” blurts out Sahil (34), an IT professional. Prevailing uncertainties caused by the pandemic, pressure at the workplace and his wife threatening to sue for divorce have driven him up the wall.
Dev is a teenager. A gangly 18-year old boy, he has been suffering from depression since before the lockdown. “I need to face things that medicines will not fix. Am I just a whining brat? I constantly feel guilty for being unable to change.” He had contemplated committing suicide but couldn’t bring himself to do it. “I am a pathetic coward. I don’t know if I will ever become strong enough…” he wails.
Sameera’s is also a familiar story. An IIT aspirant because of parental pressure, she failed to clear the JEE. “Why didn’t I kill myself ? Why did I choose to live? My interests are dead. My motivation is dead. My imagination is dead. I am dead on the inside. And I feel like I am wasting your time because nobody can help me.”
The good news is that all three ‘cases’ benefitted from counselling and therapy and are recovering.
(The author is a Clinical Psychologist and Director, Optimus Center of Well Being, Gurgaon)