My discussions with people of my generation indicate that they believe this to be very low or ignorable. Joiner believes (and shows by statistics) that self harm is one of the most common causes of death. I believe that in India, (as in other places), people downplay this as they do Sexual Abuse. And we probably do that because we do not know how to handle both. As a matter of fact,both are increasing alarmingly.
Thomas Joiner, in this article, postulates a few reasons for suicide. Please do read the whole article. It is well written.
To summarise, “People will die by suicide when they have both the desire to die and the ability to die.” (quote by Joiner). The desire to die has two components: when I believe (a) I am alone and (b) I am a burden. This is shown by the following diagram:
The three conditions of suicide, when looked at separately, are conditions that we suffer each day. We repeatedly have
- feelings of loneliness,
- feeling of inadequacy and being a burden and
- suicidal feelings.
But only when the three come together that it becomes alarming.
It starts with loneliness and a need to belong. With the advent of facebook and social media, theoretically, it would imply that we have a lot of friends. “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are,” says John Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago and the world’s foremost expert on loneliness. The more face time you have, the less the loneliness.
The second is the need to be useful and more importantly, the need to provide. With the growing unemployment, this is becoming important. For the younger generation, who have the need to provide for their parents, this can become deadly. Comparison with peers about salaries and savings coupled with low self-esteem can add fuel.
The third is the capability and the means. I will not dwell on this as it is too painful.
If you feel you need help, or someone around you needs help, please reach out. Other things that you can do:
- Create face time. If you need to talk to a counsellor please do so. Smile at friends and strangers. Make them feel that they belong.
- Learn additional skills that will help you get a job in a different career. I started as a software guy and ended as a teacher, and now a coach.
- Do not compare with others.Parents may talk about needing your support, but typically it is not financial support (most parents can fend for themselves), but they need emotional support. as do all of us.