Whenever I open a news channel, or flip the pages of the newspaper and most commonly when I scroll through my feeds on facebook, I oftenly come across the news about someone ending his/her life and I sit back wondering and trying to figure out “What did I just read? Did that really happen? Why? What made him do so? I just hope I could have talked and maybe I could share his pain? Is his parents fine? They must be doomed! What if I could reverse the time back and just could stop him? What if…
So, many ifs and buts but this doesn’t change anything right. The person is gone and he is never ever going to come back. Alas! we can do nothing but feel that “Rest in Peace my dear!”
It is mind numbing. I still feel the chills running down the back of my spine as I try to imagine the horror. Being a teenager has never been easy. But in the new millennium, amidst unprecedented prosperity, growing up seems to have become more trying than ever for Indian teens. While self-inflicted deaths among adolescents in the West are levelling off, India is topping the world in teen suicides. Sometimes drugs, alcohol and firearms are the favourite routes to self-destruction whereas, on the other hand it’s exam stress, depression, tension and inability to cope with disappointments.
“Every 90 minutes a teenager tries to commit suicide in India. Many of these attempts are half-hearted cries for attention, help and love. But every six hours, one succeeds.”
But what makes teenagers decide that adulthood is not worth waiting for? Until recently, such questions would not have had easy answers.
These deaths result from poor relationships with parents, excessive expectations, the feeling of being unwanted, poor understanding of their peer/romantic relationships. These result in an impulsive decision or a long thought-out deliberate suicide.
Sometimes unable to cope with failure and anxious about letting their family down, a growing number of Kota students opt to end their lives.
Sometimes they express an inability to cope with pressure, as in the case of a student who hanged himself from a ceiling fan by his mother’s sari. “Goodbye,” he wrote.
There is a deep state of depression and stress too “Let me sleep!” wrote the 4th year IIT Kharagpur student who hanged himself in his hostel room.
“I can’t take the pressure any longer. I love my family and I hope they will understand.” Ever so often there is helplessness: “I am not doing well in exams,” wrote a girl to her parents before she took her life, “I can’t even manage my own affairs. I’ve frittered away my college fees on trivia. No one’s responsible for my death.”
At times, there’s self-reproach. “I couldn’t make it because of the exam backlog that I need to clear,” jotted down a student of IIT-Powai while his friends made merry at a campus fest, adding, “But I want to thank my professors and I am sorry for doing this.”
Often there is anger: “I’ll come back as a ghost to haunt my teachers,” read the last note of a student from Bangalore who shot himself in the head, “You are way too nice and caring principal sir!”, were the last words of the class 11 girl from Kolkata.
So, I see that we already have two, three or more conflicting pressures on our teens – the need to belong to the teen tribe, the parental pressure to get super scores and the entirely legitimate space for freedom. And we are not even looking at other factors like endogenic depression which have not much to do with the environment.
“Trying to understand what drives a young person to take his or her own life is a complex and fraught task. And in this context, data and statistics do not seem to help. These cold numbers continue to leave parents, policy makers and mental health professionals clueless.”
And at last not to mention all the numerous government policies seem useless because it is not being able to stop this or are they at all trying to understand or figure out the reason?
I don’t think so. If seriously they had been curious and concerned about this issue, many suicides may have stopped or maybe we could save some of our friends. But, they are too busy in their political affairs to pay attention.
According to the data India does not spend enough on mental health. Currently, it spends 0.06% of its health budget on mental health, which is less than Bangladesh (0.44%). Most developed nations spend above 4% of their budgets on mental-health research, infrastructure, frameworks and talent pool, according to a 2011 World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
Many parents feel that- “As adults, we can barely cope with all the changes happening in our society. We rarely understand how we ourselves are under pressure. And hence are unable to understand what our kids are going through.”
And then there are those guardians who don’t even try to cope with the changes and difficulties going on around the globe and continue pressurising their children until the day he is no longer in this world, and now they say “I hope I could have understood what he was trying to say”
Are the authorities sorry for not listening to him or are the parents sorry for misunderstanding and not trusting his son instead believing the complains and allegations. Well even if they are, they can not bring him back.
For every recorded suicide, there have been 20 more attempts. Of the 20 whose first attempt to kill themselves has failed, one third try again within the year. And of those, 10 percent succeed. And that is still too large a number for a nation that has 20% of the world’s total teen population and a total population over 1 billion!
The remedy lies in raising awareness about mental health in schools and colleges, said experts. “Mental health and wellness should be added to school curriculum. Only when children know about these disorders in their formative years will they be able to seek help,” said Satyakant Trivedi, a psychiatrist, in an India Today article.
I feel there should be sexuality and life skills education in schools and colleges. Additionally, since parents play a major role, there should be parenting classes.
“I believe that suicide is not a trend. It is not a moment of weakness ,an act of cowardice.
But a reality check for the society.”
This is high time we question what we are doing to our students. The immense pressure. In a world where progressive work has more value to human life, this suicide is a beginner of more to come.
Spread awareness !
Mental illness is not a myth !
Mental illness is not a disease !
Share this article as much as possible, maybe together we can save someone’s life, or share their pain. This is for everyone out there if you are a friend or a foe, a guardian, a parent or a mentor please do talk to someone who feels like quitting, tell them that this world is a literally a beautiful place one just needs to do is change the way they see the world. No one fails, ever. These examination results don’t decide how one wants to live his life. These have become just mere standards to judge, to classify people whether they are good or bad, but remember these are the standards by we human beings only and this basically does not classify you. You are not “BAD”, or the topper of your class in not “GOOD”. Whenever you get stuck somewhere, you don’t know the solutions to your problems, you are dead inside, depressed, sad, burdened by useless pressures ,just remember that “YOU, YOU THE INDIVIDUAL ARE MUCH BIGGER THAN YOUR CONCERNS AND WORRIES” ,you don’t even know what are you capable of doing, find your strength, find your push and rise up!
Don’t hate yourself.
Love yourself !
Just live well ! Just live ! <3
Suggested For You: Anxiety kills. Don’t let him die.