Depression a cause of death among youngsters

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Bangalore, June 6: "People do not die from suicide, but they die from sadness", quotes an anonymous writer on Twitter. So, what is this sadness that is gripping the entire world today, especially the youngsters? Barring class, caste, religion and profession, suicide seems to be an epidemic that is sweeping the minds and the psyche of the youth today.

But what could be the reasons behind such an upsweep in the suicide rates in India? According to a new Lancet study, India reports to have the highest suicide rate in the world, which is increasing by the day. It is even more alarming to know that suicides claim twice as many lives per year as HIV; at least that is what a 2010 survey claims. Surprisingly, such cases are reportedly highest among the wealthy and the educated. Statistics claim that a whopping 56 per cent of Indian women and 40 per cent of men between the age of 15 and 29 commit or attempt to commit suicide under work or peer pressure or due to inability to cope with social changes.

Psychiatrist Sameer Malhotra is quoted saying "We see that the stress level is going up by the day, especially in the metropolitan cities. Despite earning a lot of money, people are still leading lonely lives. The second major reason is disintegration of family system when youngsters miss their support systems and lead a divided life."

Take the case of Jiah Khan. An actress who had a block-buster debut with 'Nishabd', 'Gajini' and 'Housefull', but ended her life in oblivion, reportedly because of depression. This is a case of 'The Rational Suicide Theory', a theory that was developed by Hamermesh and Soss in 1974. It correlates suicide and depression among the youth. Inability to cope with the changing environment and one's personal position in the society leads to extreme unhappiness and distress, which is more in the case of adolescents and teenagers. In such cases, the youth believe that their suffering is such that the unhappiness is valued much less than death.

Depression, by far is a cause of serious concern in the society today. As time and economy advances, youngsters are more keen to achieve money, power and fame. And when they do not achieve what they want, they choose to end their lives. Such was the case with the likes if Jiah, Nafisa Joseph, Viveka Babajee, Kuljeet Randhawa-all in their mid 20s, promising and full of potential. However, there was one more factor common between them-they could not face failures. "Youngsters should know that life has its ups and downs and one should be facing life as it is. If they can accept victory, they should be able to accept failure too," said Malhotra.

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