Suicide: Depression major cause, women attempt more than men

New Delhi, Sep 10: The number of women attempting suicide in the country is nearly thrice that of men, while people in the age-group of 15-30 are the most vulnerable section of the society who claim their lives, experts claim.

According to the Indian Psychiatric Society, however, only 10-15 per cent of suicidal bids are "impulsive" and the rest can be prevented through timely intervention and appropriate psycho-social therapy.

Suicide: Women attempt more than men

The global community today joins in observing the World Suicide Prevention Day to raise awareness about its prevention, a major cause of death worldwide.

According to WHO, 800,000 people lose their life to suicide each year –- one person every 40 seconds, and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt again. "In India, women attempt more suicide than men, on an average nearly 2.5-3 times.

But nearly three times men as against women are ending their lives. Only 10-15 per cent cases are impulsive attempts, meaning a person attempts suicide himself or herself. "In the rest, the person shows signs that he or she may attempt it, like 'my life is not worth living', which is the most common expression.

And, if people around them can sense and intervene in time, then such cases can be prevented," Indian Psychiatric Society President Dr G Prasad Rao told PTI. The Society, founded in 1947, has been creating awareness about its causes and prevention.

It will hold programmes and athletic run tomorrow to mark the day. Rao says "farmer, student and dowry-related suicides are the most common". "It's a bio-psychosocial disorder and depression is the major cause that leads to death by suicide, followed by mental anxiety and personality disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," he says.

Rao says though suicide is preventable through timely intervention and psychosocial therapy, many people fail to assess the situation when someone may be suicidal and how to respond to it.

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According to a study carried out recently by Delhi-based Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS), 71 per cent of people were not aware as to what to do when someone around them showed suicidal tendencies.

The study, released to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day, consisted of two parts -- a public survey to gauge awareness, perception and impact of suicide in general public, and a clinical research of data to assess various psychological trends associated with suicidal behaviour.

"67 per cent of people with suicidal behaviour had an underlying major depressive disorder, 55 per cent had alcohol or other addictions, 26 per cent had personality disorders, 12 per cent had bipolar affective disorder, 7 per cent had schizophrenia while 2 per cent had eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia," it said.


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