World Mental Health Day 2019 theme is suicide prevention: These are the five major causes of suicides in India
Suicides are on the rise globally. Perhaps that’s why this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day - suicide prevention - is resonating with people everywhere. Especially in India, which accounts for about 25% of all suicide deaths in the world.
More than 2.2 lakh suicides occur in India every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study show that in 2016, India had 18% of the world’s population but accounted for 36.6% of all the suicide deaths in women and 24.3% of global suicide-related death in men. Most of the suicide-related deaths occurred in the age group of 15 - 39 with a higher prevalence in the more educated and developed southern states. With more than 42% of the Indian population falling in the high-risk group, it is important to understand the reason behind the staggering numbers.
Here are some of the most common causes of in India and why some states have a higher suicide rate:
1. Lack of awareness about mental health
The social stigma surrounding mental health is believed to be one of the major causes of the high suicide rates in India. People suffering from any kind of mental illness constantly face social judgement. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety don’t even show apparent symptoms at times. Hence, people living with such conditions often end up committing suicide. The National Crime Records Bureau 2015 Report shows that out of the 3,800 illness-related suicides in India, about 1,280 occurred due to some sort of mental illness.
The government of India passed the Mental Healthcare Act in 2017, to protect, promote and ensure the rights of mentally ill people.
2. Being a woman
Statistically speaking, Indian women attempt suicide more frequently than men. The prevalence is even higher among married women. Early and arranged marriage, domestic violence, economic dependence and low social status are some of the listed causes for this.
Fertility and dowry-related issues are some other known causes of high female suicide rate in the country.
Interestingly, research shows that men have a higher suicide success rate than women. This is because men plan more meticulously than women - who tend to act on impulse and have a higher chance to be saved before death.
3. Living in cities
Urban areas see a much higher suicide rate than the rural ones. Possible reasons for this are social isolation, stress and busy lifestyles. Family issues and illnesses are two other causes of suicides in cities.
4. Regional variation
Strangely enough, the more developed the state, the higher its rate of suicide. Ironically, people with higher educational status and economic status are statistically more likely to commit suicide. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where both men and women have better access to higher education, an equal number of men and women commit suicide.
5. Socio-economic status
About 70% of Indians who committed suicide in 2015 had an annual income of less than Rs1 lakh, with a higher prevalence among unemployed men than women. Employment and economic status play a major role in suicides.
Additionally, the family-based social structure in India pushes people to conform to social norms to get emotional and financial security. Prevailing child abuse and over-controlling parenting style are suggested to cause a three-fold rise in suicidal tendencies.
Farmer suicides are one of the major concerns for India. Nearly 2 lakh farmers in India committed suicide between 1997 and 2008. Two-thirds of these deaths occurred in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Some of the causes of this high rate are low economic status, dependence on rain, and compensatory allowances to the family after death.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Depression.
myUpchar has been publishing stories on the most pressing mental health concerns in India on Firstpost, in the run-up to World Mental Health Day today. This is the fifth story in our series on mental health conditions.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Oct 10, 2019 13:02:32 IST
Tags : Anxiety, Depression, India Suicide Rate, Mental Health Awareness, Mental Healthcare Act, NewsTracker, Suicide Causes, Suicide Mental Illness, Suicide Prevention, World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day, World Mental Health Day 2019
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