Lindsay Rose Jordy, Chennai, Sept 9 (BPNS)
There comes a time when the glitters of life begin to fade, when the carefully written pages begin to wither and the sultry wind brings out all those things that one hoped to keep hidden from themselves and others. The process of this degeneration is generally slow but as soon as one let the catalysts around them to meddle with it the speed and effect of the fall grows faster and stronger until the last drop of water evaporates from the cup, until every waking hour is an endless nightmare, until there is nothing to look forward to but a total escape from the torturous reality.
The widely accepted concept of humans considered as a social being is not something which affects us altogether positively. While it adds to many of the constructive aspects in human lives, the very idea proves to be a villainous parasite that slowly takes chunks of flesh from one’s life in a human society of comparisons and harsh judgments.
The need for validation and distinctive identity is at an all time high among the people in a world of constant changes and developments. In order to reach or surpass expectations and personal goals, humans knowingly or unknowingly enroll themselves into a ceaseless race with severe and cruel consequences as often one pays no heed to how their actions affect others and who they have to bring down in order to attain their personal gain and pleasure.
Majority of the participants of this race reaches a point where all their dreams and hopes come crashing down upon them piercing their bodies like thousand sharp tipped iron nails due to the mounting pressure and thick clouds of anxiety that surrounds them.
As these closes in, the only thing a person looks for is a solution, a firm full stop to all the problems. The only answer that too often unveil itself in such situations is suicide, a whirlpool that catches hold of everyone who is related to the victim. A “taboo” about which people frequently refuses to speak or neglects due to its consequences and even if taken up for discussion generally ends up in victim blaming. The rapid increase in the number of suicides around the world is due to this negligence and unwillingness to open up and speak about the topic and the atmosphere around it.
Taking the last two years’ reports on suicides in India, 1,53,052 suicides were reported during 2020 which showed an increase of 10.0% when compared to 2019. The all-India rate of suicides was 11.3 during the year 2020 (Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2020). During 2021, the number of suicides reported in India was 1,64, 033. The rate of suicides has increased by 6.2% during 2021over 2020 which led to an all-India suicide rate of 12.0. ‘Family Problems’ and ‘Illness’ constituted the major causes of suicides. The other causes were Drug Abuse/Addiction’, ‘Marriage Related Issues’, ‘Love Affairs’, ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’, ‘Unemployment’, ‘Failure in Examination’, ‘Professional/Career Problem’ and ‘Poverty’. The prominent modes of committing suicide included ‘Hanging’, consuming ‘Poison’, ‘Drowning’ and ‘Fire/Self Immolation’. The most vulnerable groups resorting to suicides were the ones of 18 years-below 30 years (Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2021).
The major reason for the increasing cases of suicide among the youth is because many of them are made to, or take it upon themselves to, carry the weight of familial and societal expectations on their shoulders which leads to prioritizing the need to keep a good and valued position in an environment which otherwise shuns and ostracises them.
This is often achieved by burning many personal dreams and aspirations in order to keep up with the norms of their surroundings. The idea of failure is heavily looked down upon which makes many unable to get past it. Along with this the constant pressure and interrogation of people around them, because of the main reason that they are a social being, makes a person question, scrutinize and overthink themselves and each of their actions which further leads to sensory overload and mental health issues. These can be considered as the primary causes of psychological pain, which according to Edwin Shneidman is the key element in any case of suicide.
The higher aspects of human emotions like love, kindness, empathy and compassion, which are necessary for survival in a social sphere are failing to find their place in humans and are mostly overlooked.
This gives birth to a place full of “social beings” among whom feelings and words are not understood, where screams for help remains unnoticed and unheard, where self-inflicted wounds and scars becomes a part of coping mechanism and before one realises the bandages can no longer hide the scars, the noose around the neck tightens obstructing the flow of life, the water rushes in through the bloody mouth and nostrils as one breaks the surface of the untamed river which is more welcoming than their fellow human beings.
And the thorns of the rose which are meant to provide protection turns against it and stabs the petals, crushing the body, mind and soul.