Age-related emotional turbulence and suicides

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BY: Syed Mustafa Ahmad

Given the present situation, anyone can feels suffocated. The chaotic situations prevailing all around forces people to look for an easy escape – sometimes suicide being one!

The age group of 15-29 years is my concern, as I myself belong to this group. This stage of life is called the ‘age of strife’. There are physical, emotional, mental changes happening in an adolescent or a youth. He or she is a storehouse of energy, creativity, agility, sympathy, love, etc., to name a few. Every youth tries to fulfill his or her aims, whatever they are. The chaos and confusion comes in to play when the things do not seem to work up the way they want them to. Let us have a look at some facts.

Live a little every day – ‘ek hi zindagi milti hai’ ( we have got but only one life), these were the last words of the postgraduate student, written on the suicide note he left at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, on July 02, 2019.

What forced him to take this step is of utmost importance? He felt frustrated as the things were going. Cut-throat competition with no aim is forcing the students to go for the extreme step.

According to the facts, every hour one suicide takes place in India. It means about 24 suicide incidents take place every day in India. According to the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), in 2018, 10,159 incidents of suicide took place. 9,905 incidents of suicide took place in 2017; some 9, 478 incidents in 2016. Among the states and the union territories, Maharashtra is at the top of the list. Every year 1,448 incidents of suicide take place there. Tamil Nadu is the second in this crime. There are 953 cases of this type everywhere. Madhya Pradesh is at the third place. 862 cases of this kind are recorded there.

From1999-2003, some 27,990 students ended their lives this way. From 2004-2008, 28,913 students ended their lives. From 2014-2018, 46,554 students went for the extreme step.

As per the data of the Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, between 2014-2019, 27 students committed suicide in the top IITs of the country. The top-most among the IITs is the IIT Madras with the cases stood at 7. It shows the reality of our educational system. Why our creative minds are failing in living this life? Why do they look out at escapism? It, indeed, is a bothering question.

Last year, in Telangana, 19 students committed suicide after their results were out. They failed on their intermediate examination. It is the secondary question that there were many lapses from the authorities. Look at this picture. Why to go for this extreme step? It shows our level of teaching. We still believe in fantasies. We don’t prepare our students for failure. It is failure that makes the real worth of education possible.

In 2017, like the same fashion as in Telangana, 12 students found an escape from the life by committing suicide. In Kota, Rajasthan, 58 students ended their lives in between 2013-2017. The hub of coaching centres is still lacking in giving the real education!

According to a Lancet report, most suicides are found in the age group between 15-29. Among men, 40 percent were individuals, while it is 60 percent among women. Why does this age group become the scapegoat of everything? They, being the torch-bearers of a nation, cannot die in this fashion.

As told by Karan Singh, the son of the Maharaja Hari Singh, that the youth are not children now. They are not married yet. It becomes possible for them to face the realities. They can do it very efficiently. The same was told by Sir CV Raman. He said that it is nature with science that gives the reality of life. It means that all the happenings of life are to be welcomed and looking for the solutions, make our life.

According to Mrugesh Vaishnav, stress, anxiety, disorder, depression, personality disorder, etc., lead to the extreme step. He says that there should be a proper mechanism from the very beginning so that the students often don’t become worried about their lives. They should be taught in a healthy environment. Maximum effort should be placed on the well-being of the individuals.

Sanjeev Alam, a faculty at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, said that a student commits suicide when he/she doesn’t get emotional support at the time of crisis. This might happen when individual expectations are too high. Parental and peer pressure also have an adverse effect. Furthermore, it can be a personal relationship as well. In our country, we have wrong perception about the personal relationships. There is no healthy environment for these things.

A.K. Joshi, Professor and Head of Sociology, Banaras Hindu University, stated that academic stress is an obvious factor for students taking their own lives. After studying to a certain level, when they feel they are without support or that they can’t fulfill their own and their parents’ role expectations, a role conflict starts within the student. In this type of situation, students feel they are left without any choice and so they take such an extreme step.

Pradip Kumar Saha, Directorate of Institute of Psychiatry, Kolkata, says that the fear of failure is a leading cause for suicide among students. When students pass through an unsuccessful phase, everything seems pessimistic to them. They feel their future is bleak and this may result in them committing suicide.

Having said all these things, the need of the hour is to do something on the ground level. For a healthy society, we should make it our duty to create a healthy environment. A lot of work is to be done. The causes are known. There is the need to address them in a sustainable way. It means that all the responsible people have to find ways to get out of the present sameness.

Students need care. They need love. They are not in a position to know themselves. They want comfort at every level. We have to make them understand the true realities of life. Imitation is never an option for them. Live your life is the mantra for them. Changing the way of looking at the things and life, can do miracles; and we are in dire need of such miracles.

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