Suicide on the rise in Kashmir

Suicide on the rise in Kashmir

Psychiatrists and police data reveal broken relationships, domestic violence big reasons

Doctors at the SMHS hospital here were recently trying to save a young woman who had consumed pesticide to end her life. They tried everything but the 25-year-old didn’t survive.  

Cases of suicide and unsuccessful attempts at ending one’s own life are on a increase in Kashmir.

During the last six months alone over 53 cases of suicide were reported in the SMHS hospital. Last year the premier hospital received 563 cases of self-poisoning.

“We receive cases, mostly from rural areas, where people consume pesticides and insecticides, for they are readily available to them,” said a doctor at the hospital who deals with suicides cases says on condition of anonymity. 

According to the hospital records, 5370 cases of self-poisoning — like that of the young woman — have been reported in past 10 years and six months.

Initially, the doctor says, “the patients lie to us and say that they had a fight at home or they had secured less marks and that’s the reason they committed suicide, but when we dig further failed relationship and domestic violence are the major causes that trigger attempts to end their lives.”

The Police Crime Branch records also reveal that number of suicides have been increasing in Jammu and Kashmir with broken relationships and domestic violence seen as the major triggers.

At least 291 cases of suicide were reported in 2017 across the state, among them the highest numbers came from Handwara, Baramulla and Anantnag. 

In 2015, the data of the crime branch reads, 247 cases of suicide were registered and the number jumped to 267 in 2016. 

The trent is more apparent in Kashmir valley as compared to the Jammu region. 

In Handwara, 60 cases of suicides have come to fore in 2017, Baramulla 42, Anantnag 34, Srinagar 25, Budgam 23, Jammu 18, Sopore 17, Kupwara 14, Ganderbal 11.

Three cases each cases of suicide have been reported from Ramban, Kishtwar and Samba. Two each from Kathua, Rajouri and Udhampur and one case each from Poonch and Reasi.

In Leh two cases of suicide have come to fore, while no case has been reported from Kargil.

Psychiatrists have helped many with tendency of committing suicide to fight back for their lives.

One man had tried to kill himself 11 times, and on his 12th attempt he was refered to a psychiatrist at SMHS.

Gulzar (name changed), a carpet weaver, starting showing symptoms of anxiety and depression when he became Jobless and was economically drained. Making ends meet had become a tough and this eventually had an impact on his mental health.

He tried every method to end his life.

“It was a chronic case. He had absolutely no will to live,” said Professor at Physiatry hospital, Dr Arshad Hussain.

“We motivated him for treatment and the treatment continued for years and the result was that he started living a normal life and restarted his work and also made his wife learn nuances of his craft and both were earning for their children.” 

Dr Arshad says there are many such cases where psychiatrists have helped depressed and distressed people with suicidal tendencies fight back and survive well. 

The veteran psychiatrist himself believes that suicides cases are on rise, but many of them are preventable.

“Depression can be defeated and tendency to self harm is temporary, life is permanent.”