GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
Intentionally causing one’s own death – suicide – has grown into pandemic proportions, over the years, across the globe. Suicide accounting for 1.4 per cent of all deaths globally is by no means an insignificant number. Moreover, under-reporting is a consistent issue because of the stigma attached to the act. Even a cursory mention of suicidal thoughts on the part of a person should ring alarm bells for the family members. Approximately seventy per cent of those who take their lives give some clues about their intention. Also referred to as ‘suicidal ideation’, the talks about suicide can range from a mere mention to open admission. Family history, long-standing illness, repeated stress and bereavement in family are some important causes. Age, gender and socioeconomic condition are no bar for suicidal thoughts. A sustained campaign is needed to thwart suicide attempts and bring lives back on track. Stopping suicide attempts means dealing with the factors that trigger them. Undoubtedly, depression ranks high among individuals having suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse disorder (SAD) is also a cause but depression and SAD are intertwined together. Then there are personality disorders that are enigmatic. World Suicide Prevention Day falls on September 10, and the whole month is observed as the Suicide Prevention Month in the United States. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been seized of the matter long back. The International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) is an organisation that is into this. Everything in this mankind can be prevented; suicide is not an exception. There are many ‘foundations’, easily accessible through Internet that can come to the rescue of a suicide attempter. It is always good to directly start a conversation with them with compassion and empathy while taking care not to further push them to the brink. “Talk with them; don’t argue with them” is the familiar refrain in the international community of experts. Behavioural therapy has worked wonders for a suicide attempter when used prudently.