New Delhi: As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India has not witnessed any big changes in the number of suicide cases. Moreover, the records have increased during the pandemic, creating a negative impact on society. Many clinical psychologists have reflected on the idea of suicide and believe that the actions or the implication of such action are the results of the drastic societal failure.
“People who commit suicide have multiple reasons. The primary reason is the psychiatric disorder under which there are some specific categorizations, where the suicide rates have been observed more, for instance, depression, schizophrenia, and so forth. These disorders are not getting reduced and the prevalence is more or less constant. Other reasons are a failure in life, and depression,” Prof Rakesh Kumar, Department of psychology, Gurukula Kangri University, Haridwar, told The Sunday Guardian.
Similarly, Dr Samanta Puspak Kumar Jena, Professor of Applied Psychology at Delhi University, said, “When there is a great increase or decrease in suicide rates, then only we can say that it can be associated with some factors happening in our environment or society. So, it is important to look into the causes of suicide.”
The NCRB data depicts that family problems and illness are some of the major reasons behind the rise of suicide cases. Delhi has reported the highest number of suicide cases amongst all the union territories followed by Puducherry. Amongst the states, Maharastra has reported the highest number of suicide cases followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
Looking into such high rates, Dr Ishita Bharadwaj, Assistant Professor, Delhi University, said, “It is not just an individual problem, it is a high time we get into the understanding of suicide, not pinning it as individual maladaptive behaviour, but seeing it as a manifest of collective living.”
She also added that suicide cases can be termed as social maladies which require a holistic approach. As per the data, family issues and illnesses are some of the major causes of suicide, which accounted for 33.6% and 18% of total suicide cases.
Taking this into consideration, she said, “The radical shift in our economy which points to a huge gap between the affluent and the people living under the lower economic strata are widely witnessed. With them we have social, moral responsibility, we have many migrant populations and so forth. There is a large section of people, who are left uncared for. We require a large no. of community psychologists which refers to taking clinical psychologists from the clinic to the field. In India, when someone is about to commit suicide but is somehow saved, at that time, psychologists come into the picture. We need some good strategic methods so we need to identify communities or individuals at risk.”
Also, there are people who are too shy to share personal tragedies with others. In such circumstances, apart from taking help from clinical psychologists, one needs to rediscover oneself, find new modes of expressing themselves once again.
Adding on to this point, Dr Jena said, “Reinforcement is helpful but gets extinguished so it gets boring. The probability of the occurrence of new behaviour doesn’t happen, so if anything goes into decline, there is a need to look for new forms of reinforcement which is an art and the young people should be taught about it.”
He added, “Yoga, mindfulness, autosuggestion or self-talk, some stress reduction medicines are great ways to relax oneself and focus on the future. Time management is important. A new kind of reason for suicide that is emerging these days is some people lose the meaning of their lives, thinking has come to an end.” Asked about the changes in the therapy session to prevent suicide, Dr Bharadwaj said, “At an individual level, the recommendations in the change of therapy sessions vary as it depends on the certain stages of an individual’s life. Also, one needs to understand the kind of social and relationship fabric one is into, but one common thread of recommendation is to explore oneself, to renew the sense of being as the absence of recreational activity creates a huge impact on the lives of an individual. Moreover, designing a unique method based on the population is significant as the therapies that are applied on adolescents will not be similar to the treatments applied on the adults.” Looking into the modified strategies in therapy sessions, Prof Kumar said that India has well-established psychological therapies with good methodologies.