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The alarming rise in the rate of suicides

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BY: MUSHTAQ AHMAD BUTT

According to the reports of World Health Organization (WHO) suicide is a global phenomenon and is tenth major cause of deaths worldwide. The rate of suicides has gone up by 60% since1960 till 2012- revealed a report adding that in the year 2013 alone, the suicide cases globally mounted to 8,42000 besides, millions of cases of ‘attempted’ suicide annually reported across the globe. The cases involve all age groups and the incidents are gender neutral as well. Apart from issues concerning difficult scenarios, failed relations, forced dominance, fear and horror of any sort, there are several socio-political, economic, cultural and psychological reasons that force a person to commit suicide.

International organizations working in this regard suggest that the major reasons for this agonizing act are depression, traumas, sexual abuse, rapes, poverty, unemployment, anxiety, mental illness apart from social causes including broken marriages, family disputes, homelessness, failures in academics, harsh treatment of family members, guilt of killings, loss of honour etc.

However, what has been found quite common in most of the suicide cases is the fact that the victim usually hints his/her breakdown and makes some subdued calls for help which unfortunately aren’t heard at the proper time and sometimes the near ones even ignore such signs adding more desperation to the state of mental trauma the victim is facing. Emotionally broken down individuals when not heard or criticized vehemently for their acts of failures add fuel to the fire and instead of a family handling the situation in a positive way, things go totally wrong.

Human beings are diverse in their thinking, capabilities, ambitions, needs and sensitivities and in the maters of reacting to a situation. Trying to blending them into a single whole in one system with uniform principles leads to the crisis which finally forces some to take extreme steps including the worst of them all- suicide.

The pandemic has brought more mental trauma and complexities into our lives. There are losses on various fronts- some have lost their family members, relatives and friends- while some lost the economic prospects, jobs, businesses etc. At a time when the cost of life is immense, the loss of economic security can easily drive anyone crazy. The prolonged lockdown, the limitation of not being able to see ones friends and relatives and even, in some cases, not being able to touch their loved for the sake of the covid protocol has added to the mental pressures and increasing the tendency of depression and anxiety. This scenario could easily lead to a disaster if we aren’t prepared to handle the situation and make efforts for staying calm.

We, as fellow humanbeings, must make all efforts to ensure that those in trouble are attended to and heard. There has to be a process of engagement and deliberations in this regard and efforts are needed from organizations and governments to stay alert for averting any such eventuality and for saving human lives. We all have weak points and we all suffer in our own ways but what is important to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it and in return expect a helping hand reaching out to us.

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