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Suicide is a complex act

This refers to your report “Pratyusha suicide case: Boyfriend Rahul hospitalized” (April 4). Our society views suicide only as a social phenomenon. The individual aspects of suicide, be it his/her physical health, mental health or philosophical point of view, are almost always ignored. Mental illness is a prevalent issue in today’s adolescent and post-adolescent world, and suicides such as that of Pratyusha bring the topic into the public eye. Suicide has been part of everyday conversation in many living rooms, but there is little understanding of why it happens. No one can explain why some people commit suicide and others do not. One theory is that suicide is an act of rage or anger. Another theory is that people may commit suicide because they feel they have no other choice.

According to the Medical Journal, The Lancet in India, 10.3 of every 1,00,000 people take their own lives each year. To give a sense of scale, that means suicide is roughly three times as common as murder. Suicide is a complex act that results from many factors, not all of which are understood. It is not clear or predictable why the setbacks, losses, or difficulties that would lead one person to feel very unhappy may lead another person to be suicidal. Hopelessness and distorted thinking may prevent a person from seeing solutions to their problems. Researchers are finding that there may be inherited tendencies for depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, substance abuse and certain personality disorders. Many young adults do not consider mental illness to be a viable disease, regarding those with depression as over-dramatic and emotional. It is ignorant to assume that someone suffering from a mental disease would feign his or her illness.

Vinod C. Dixit

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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