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Suicides And Depression In India


Suicide in India is a problem on its own. Around 1,35,000 suicides occur in India every year as per the National Crime Records Bureau. As per the Open Government Data (OGD) Platform, the leading causes of suicides in India are:

  1. family related issues (20%),
  2. illness (17%),
  3. marriage related issues (4%),
  4. love affairs (3%) and
  5. drug abuse/overdose/addiction (2.5%)  

Farmer suicides in India is another prevalent problem that needs to be looked at. 

The thing about suicide in India was that until 2014, suicide was illegal and punishable by imprisonment up to one year under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. Mental disorders such as depression were included in this list as well. Only recently did we pass the Mental Health Care Bill in 2016 to facilitate proper health care treatment, ensuring rights of mentally ill people, rehabilitation of mentally ill people and decriminalizing suicides in India.

The Afterlife: Is It Really Worth It?

In all honesty, no. It’s not worth it, whatever be the reason. The leading cause of suicides is family related issues in India, which isn’t a surprise. With over half the Indian population coming from rural India, most families follow traditional and orthodox lifestyles with respect to marriage, joint-family circles, etc. Only recently have we seen an influx of rural and urban India with traditional India integrating with digital urban India. Family members can inhibit a progressive mind with respect to the choice of education, the choice of partner, the choice of profession, etc.

Depression – A State Of Mind, Apparently

According to a majority of the Indian population, depression is a myth. Yet, 5% of India is afflicted with depression. Most parents and peers fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression to effectively tackle the problem instead of ‘letting it just be’. Depression is a disorder that lasts in an individual for at least 2 years. Not too many people talk about it either. The concept and relevance of counseling and therapy in India are relatively new, although it does help and most people need to see it that way. If you’re sick, you’d go to a doctor, in the same way, if you’re mentally ill, then you visit a psychologist or psychiatrist. Statistically, we have just under 4000 psychiatrists for over 56 million Indians suffering from depression.

Life > Exams

As Indians, most students would have grown up with the constant pressure of becoming a high achiever and doing well in examinations. As a result, most parents start with this pressure when a child is still a kid. The growth spurt of coaching classes over the last two decades is a prime example of how important it is to do well in competitive examinations.

Kota is the capital for competitive exam coaching for IIT, JEE and NEET in India. Many students have committed suicide in Kota under the pressure and stress of failure. The hostel students resorted to committing suicide by hanging from their hostel ceiling fan. The solutions listed out by the hostel association to curb student suicides was appalling. Installing fans with springs, installing wall fans instead of ceiling fans and alarms in the fans to notify authorities of a suicide attempt. As always, instead of prevention, the authorities just don’t want a suicide happening on campus.

Suicide Hotline Numbers

Here is a list of hotline numbers that can help people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Please look out for help, confide in a friend or family member and most importantly, live.

Pic Credit: Snopes

2 thoughts on “Suicides And Depression In India

  1. Please tell me more about the “family issues” that affects a whopping 20% of suicides. Seems like a gigantic topic to look over.

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