>> Spot and help a sui­ci­dal per­son,

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Etti Bali etti.bali@htlive.com

De­pres­sion and sui­cide are words that we want to avoid. A sit­u­a­tion where a friend or rel­a­tive is de­pressed enough to be con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide may be star­ing us in the face, but we may play it down in our own mind and de­prive some­one of help.

The In­ter­net is in­un­dated with web­sites and blogs that talk of ways to com­mit sui­cide — from pain­less meth­ods to tu­to­ri­als. How­ever, sui­cide helplines have found a way around it. As soon as you search for “ways to com­mit sui­cide” on Google, the first re­sult that pops up is a 24x7 helpline with an In­dian tele­phone num­ber and a web­site ad­dress. Face­book has launched var­i­ous sui­cide pre­ven­tion mea­sures.

Psy­chol­o­gist Dr Anil Sethi says that the de­sire to seek at­ten­tion through sui­cide or at­tempted sui­cide could be the re­sult of years of ne­glect. He sug­gests watch­ing out for vis­i­ble changes in a per­son’s be­hav­iour. “It’s im­por­tant to be ob­ser­vant. We must also build hope. Hope is a key fac­tor [in keep­ing some­one alive],” he says.

It’s im­por­tant to curb so­cial me­dia us­age. Ex­perts say that one shouldn’t read any­thing and ev­ery­thing. Even if ev­ery­thing is avail­able, you still have to ex­er­cise dis­cre­tion. One shouldn’t spend too much time in the vir­tual world. It must be bal­anced with real life. So­cial me­dia de-ad­dic­tion cen­tres have been es­tab­lished in the US, and they might open soon in In­dia — the work is un­der way at AIIMS.

Dr Sethi re­calls a pa­tient he treated: “I met a chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing stu­dent from IIT Delhi. His grades were drop­ping. His par­ents were wor­ried, as he used to keep to him­self. They con­tacted me for help. He cried a lot and told me that he didn’t like the stream he was be­ing made to study. I un­der­stood that this boy was

sui­ci­dal, a fact he shared me with me dur­ing ther­apy. He grad­u­ally im­proved with coun­selling, took ad­mis­sion in a pri­vate col­lege with the stream of his choice and is now in the US.”

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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