Mind Your Mind

Every year, more than 1,00,000 people commit suicide in India: NCRB data

ARPITA DAS | Published : 2023-06-27

Case 1: 23-year-old Puhor Hazarika (name changed) was a happy-go-lucky boy. He was a popular student, a responsible son and a reliable friend. The budding artiste also excelled in debate competitions. Puhor was the life and soul of the party. 

However, Puhor's life took an unexpected turn after his mother passed away in a road accident. Puhor started to experience frequent mood fluctuations, distanced himself from social interactions and appeared withdrawn. He experienced a "never felt before sadness". There was an increase in symptoms as the days passed by.

His worried father and friends tried umpteen ways to make him "feel happy" and "bring him back to the normal life". But something was amiss. Everyone told his father, "It's just a phase. He is just sad...he will be okay."

But Puhor was not okay - mentally. He required immediate medical intervention. Unfortunately, the boy, who used to light up any party, took his own life before his father could reach out to the mental health experts.

Case 2: 18-year-old Parthana Banerjee is undergoing treatment for her mental health. The fashion design aspirant recently visited a wedding with her mother. 

While chit-chatting with the guests, Parthana, quite nonchalantly, talked about the treatment she is undergoing for her mental health, much to the disgust of her mother. 

Parthana is recovering and is also encouraging others to talk about mental health. She proudly calls herself - 'Depression warrior'.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. More women are affected by depression than men, according to the WHO.

The WHO says, "Depression is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.  It can also disturb sleep and appetite; tiredness and poor concentration are common. Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world and contributes greatly to the global burden of disease."

Despite all of the advances made in mental illness, a majority section of people is still hesitant to seek help due to the prevalent stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental disorders. Experts stated that having major depression does increase suicide risk. 

"There are several factors behind people avoiding or delaying seeking treatment. In our society, a man is expected to be emotionally strong. A man is assumed to be weak if he cries in public. On the other hand, a woman is scared of being judged, of being called an attention-seeker. She might be called mad, lose her job, have marriage proposals and so on. The prevalent gender biasedness in our society also plays a major role in people not seeking help," says Dr Sashibha Barman, Guwahati-based MD (Emergency Medicine).

She adds, "Cases of anxiety are on the rise among the children. One of the reasons can be the lack of physical presence of parents, who are busy with their careers. The absence of parents often pushes the children to addiction (social media, video games, drugs and so on). Such addictions might lead to drastic behavioural changes in children. If not treated timely, such addictions can turn out to be dangerous."

Dr Barman also mentions that much experienced psychological distress due to the Covid-19 induced restrictions. "We humans are social beings. We cannot live in isolation. The pandemic created an air of uncertainty all around. The only way to beat the blues is to bond with family and friends," she suggests.

Dr Bornali Das, Guwahati-based mental health expert shares that the number of cases of mental illness is on the rise among the young adults in the city.

"Due to the pandemic, a section of people are experiencing lob loss, migration, financial instability. Another section of people is finding it difficult to adjust to the work from home format. They are demanded to be constantly online and are overburdened with work. There are deadlines to meet, zoom meetings to attend. Such abrupt, drastic changes do take a toll on our mental health. People are experiencing irritation, compassion fatigue and lack support from colleagues and juniors," says Dr Das.

Dr Das suggests the schools teach life skills to children. "Even the teachers should be sensitized on communication style and pattern with children. The emotional well-being of children should be the top priority of a school. If trained, a teacher can become a counsellor for children in distress. Young adults, if guided timely, recover fast."  

On being asked about the young adults claiming to be 'depressed' just at the drop of hat, Dr Das says, "Teenagers and young adults have this tendency to pick up certain nomenclatures. Feeling sad from time to time is a natural reaction to situations we come across in our daily life. Misusing the term 'depression' affects the sensitivity of the situation."

If one is sulking for over two weeks, lacks enthusiasm in usually pleasurable activities, experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite without an underlying cause, lacks self-esteem, low concentration, feeling hopeless, helpless and worthless are some of the symptoms of depression. 

On being asked about celebrities opening up about mental health, Dr Das says, "It's a good sign but doesn't suffice. A section of people is still hesitant to seek help or talk about mental health. There is no shame in asking for help. The educational institutes, companies, colleagues, friends and family members must encourage a person to seek medical help if required. The companies must normalise taking a break for mental health. Depression affects a person’s ability to function normally, cuts down productivity."

Dr Das suggests taking periodic breaks to break the monotony of regular life. "Take breaks...do things that give you pleasure. Spend time with family, meet new people, build social connections. Go to a party with friends and don't talk about work. Journaling can help to a great extent to soothe your frayed nerves. If you have a partner, do joint activities as it will help you to relax and also strengthen your bond."

On the other hand, Dr Shyamanta Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College is happy that with time, young adults are coming forward to seek medical intervention.

"Young adults today are more aware of their mental health as compared to their parents. I have patients coming to me going against his or her parents' advice due to stigma attached with mental illness," said Dr Shyamanta.

He adds, "Just like our immune system, emotional mechanism differs person to person. Some people are born with the skills to fight against odds. They can cope with complex and difficult situations with ease. On the other hand, a certain section of people fails to deal with the changes and becomes a victim of depression or other mental illnesses. But fighting mechanisms can be taught during therapy."

Dr Shyamanta believes celebrities and media can play a crucial role in eradicating the stigmas associated with mental health.

"When a celebrity talks about suffering from mental health in a public platform, it gives courage to a commoner to come forward and seek help. It helps in busting the myth associated with mental health. Many deaths by suicide can be reduced if one is encouraged to take counseling or medication for the well-being of his or her mind," Dr Shyamanta shares.

He adds, "On the other hand, the media must refrain from creating mass hysteria around any unnatural death as it affects the well-being of a person undergoing treatment."

According to experts, genetics, substance misuse, anxiety disorders, grief, lack of closure, chronic illnesses, administration of steroids, deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are some of the reasons which play a role in depression.

"Compassion and empathy are the keys to the well-being of your mental health. Be kind, help people in need. Never shy away from asking for help. Pick up a hobby and pursue it. Connect with yourself," Dr Shyamanta suggests further. 

About 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year. According to the data released by National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), over 1.39 lakh Indians died by suicide in the year 2019. Hanging was found to be the most common method of taking one's life.
A total of 1,39,123 suicides were reported in the country during 2019 showing an increase of 3.4 per cent in comparison to 2018 and the rate of suicides has increased by 0.2 per cent during 2019 over 2018, as per the NCRB data. 

"Every year, more than 1,00,000 people commit suicide in our country. There are various causes of suicides like professional/career problems, sense of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, mental disorders, addiction to alcohol, financial loss, chronic pain etc," the NCRB said in the 'Suicides in India 2019'  report.
"One must always live with the belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Try to reach out to your friends or trusted people when you feeling like the whole world is falling on your shoulders. Life is precious," suggests Dr Barman.

Indeed. Shed away your inhibitions and talk about being sad for no reason, this heavy feeling in your chest, panic attacks while just catching up with an old friend. Let's talk. Let's listen. Let's not judge. Let's hold each other's hands. Where there's life there's hope, isn't it? 

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯  𝘋𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 7, 2021



The film captures how two familiar strangers make adjustments as they start to live together: Kashya Read more
Assam researcher Barnali Das and Co. discovered rare radio stars hotter than sun Read more
Every year, more than 1,00,000 people commit suicide in India: NCRB data Read more
Space is probably the most unusual place a couple can get married at. And, that's obviously because Read more
A Spanish athlete, Alex Roca who may not have been widely known until recently has gone viral on soc Read more


সৰ্বশ্ৰেষ্ঠ নহয়, সৰ্বোত্তমৰ দৌৰত

Quick Links





About us

Contact Us

Avatar Complex, Naharani Path, Near Dispur Last Gate, Guwahati-781006, Assam


Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved by News Daily 24