The problem of teen suicide is becoming a increasing cause for worry in our country. Quite distressingly, India has the dubious distinction of recording one of the highest numbers of teen suicides in the world. India Today, in its April 2008 cover story titled ‘Teen suicide’, reported: “While self-inflicted deaths among adolescents in the West are levelling off, India is topping the world in teen suicides. If drugs, alcohol and firearms are the favourite routes to self-destruction in the West, it’s exam stress and inability to cope with disappointments here.”
Teenage years are filled with turmoil, as kids go through physical and mental changes. At times, dire situations can push emotionally fragile teens to the edge. And if they lack the necessary robustness to cope with disappointments, they can become so hopeless that they may consider taking the extreme step of committing suicide.
In order to prevent teenagers from taking the irreversible step, it is important to understand the triggers behind suicide attempts and the psychology involved. In an article published in The Times of India, Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, the founder trustee of Sneha India, a well-known suicide prevention centre based in Chennai, says, "Suicidal individuals tend to be ambivalent and cannot decide whether to continue living or not…Suicide is an impulsive phenomenon. The attempt is a cry for help." Some of the common drivers of suicide are depression, high societal expectations and absence of a support system during times of failure. As disturbing as it sounds, in some cases, parental pressure also turns out to be a major factor.
Parents will do well to identify the problem early in their child, consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist if need be and seek recourse before it gets too late. It is important that they remove all the unwarranted burden of expectations that they may be subtly and even unconsciously imposing on their adolescents.
Parents should try to build courage and self-esteem in children over a period of time and make then resilient enough to bounce back, no matter what challenge life throws at them.
For an in-depth understanding of the issue, take a look at our ClipBook.
Being a teenager has never been easy. India tops the world in teen suicides as exam stress and depression become key factors, but other urban pressures are also taking a heavy toll. Is growing up more trying than ever?
A common cause for concern is the pressure from parents to do well in the national board examinations. Moreover, the consequences of gender bias are among the leading causes of suicides among young women.
In this video created by Mayo Clinic, teens describe common signs that a teen is considering suicide and provide encouragement for communicating directly and immediately for support and safety. It also Includes suggestions for what to say to a tee...
When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about? It's important to learn about the factors that can put a teen at risk for suicide. Spend some time reading these ten ways you can help prevent suicide.
Parents can help prevent suicide by recognizing warning signs, identifying risk factors, promoting protective factors, and knowing how to talk to their children and seek mental health services.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.