>> Spot and help a suicidal person,
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.”