India witnesses an 11 per cent increase in female suicide

Suicide is the leading cause of death in the 15-39 years age group in India. 36.6 per cent of such deaths among women globally occur in India, and the suicide rate among the elderly has increased over the past quarter century

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A study conducted in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other institutes to examine the extent and reasons of suicide in India states that nearly 37 per cent of all women committing suicide world-over are Indians

From the year, 1990 and 2016, India’s contribution to global suicide rate increased from 25.3% to 36.6% among women. This means that India has seen an increase in female suicide by 11%.

In a written reply to a question raised in the parliament regarding the rising cases of female suicide in the country, Anupriya Patel, the minister of state in the ministry of health and family welfare stated, “As per the Report “India: Health of the Nation’s States” prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the percentage of deaths due to suicide and interpersonal violence is 2.8% of total deaths in the country.”

She added, “Between the years 1990 and 2016, India’s contribution to global suicide rate increased from 25.3% to 36.6% among women. The causes of suicide have their origin in the social, economic, cultural, psychological and health status of an individual.”

Patel further stated, “The individual risk factors for suicide include, inter-alia, previous suicide attempt, mental disorders, harmful use of alcohol, job or financial loss, hopelessness, chronic pain, family history of suicide and genetic and biological factors.”

In the recent days, we have witnessed two incidents of suicide among women.

In the first incident, depressed over facing examination pressure, a 27-year-old woman doctor, preparing for entrance for MD (Doctor of Medicine), allegedly killed herself on Saturday by jumping from her 12th floor apartment in Thane, Maharashtra.

A police officer said they found an unverified suicide note, believed to be written by the student. “In the suicide note, believed to have been written by her, she mentioned that she was unable to cope with the pressure to prepare for the entrance examination for MD (Doctor of Medicine),”

My Medical Mantra spoke to doctors to know exactly what pushes a person towards suicide. While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Ashish Deshpande, a psychiatrist from Advanced Multi Hospital, said, “An 11 per cent increase in female suicide must be taken seriously. If we look at today’s present scenario, women do not receive enough familial support. Although, the new age woman is empowered, this empowerment isn’t making much of a difference in preventing suicide. Women have to play various roles in society, and due to this pressure that the incidence rate of suicide has increased.”

While in another incident, a 14-year-old girl from Navi Mumbai committed suicide in a fit of rage after her mother refused to give her a mobile phone. The parents had given her a mobile during Christmas. But took it away from her once her Christmas vacations were over so that she could focus on her studies. One day she came after school and her mother for her mobile. But her mother refused; blinded by rage the daughter hanged herself from the ceiling fan.

Dr Aditi Acharya, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist, stated, “One reason behind the increase of suicide cases can be that earlier there was no proper record of the number of suicides. Secondly, the ever increasing amount of responsibilities that a woman has to bear has led to more stress. And a third and most crucial reason behind female suicide is that due to lifestyle change, the amount of support that a woman used to receive is somewhat reduced, when compared to simpler times.”

 

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