The psychology of teenager’s suicides:
5 boys and girls hanged themselves in a village – 5th January 2010 (News from the newspaper).
6 suicides in a day, by hanging and swallowing poison – 6th January 2010 (News from the newspaper).
“Due to less marks in the exam, due to depression, because of failing 2-3 times in the exam, because of not getting admission for the desired course – these are some of the many reasons behind suicides by adolescent children.” -10th January 2010 (Reasons that the police found out behind these suicides).
Everyone looses sleep at one point or the other, after hearing or reading these types of news. Now is the time to evaluate the reasons; whether they are just time being or real? These children are usually in the age group of 8 to 22 years, which is the adolescent period! Till now we have discussed the psychological diseases among these children but now we need to see as to why they are affected with depression? We have seen the chapter of “Managing Stress and Tension”. We discussed the problems faced by children while facing many changes. Some children can do it very well and go ahead while the others have negative feeling about themselves. These negative feelings give rise to depression. These children have very small expectations about their studies and all other things. What is their daily routine? What is included in their world? They go to school/college, attend lectures, study, give exams, learn new things, get involved in new relationships coming from physical attraction called girlfriends/ boyfriends, enjoy these relationships, choose a career as per their money requirement, create a huge social network of friends and enjoy life with them, enjoy different crazes and fashions; but if due to some circumstances, they don’t get a chance to do this then they feel an inferiority complex or go into depression and then they feel like all the pleasures in their life are lost. Fear of small failures, cut throat competition of marks which is the parameter of talent or intelligence; they are labeled by their teachers, friends and family and as per these labels and due to this, they get attracted to new things like finishing off their lives through Suicides!! This action is given some kind of temporary reasons like pressure from parents, paper was difficult, fear of failure etc. etc.! In fact these actions or suicides do not take place due to sudden emotional impulse but the planning starts 5 to 6 months in advance. If you check the routine of these children 5 to 6 months before the incident, you can find many such reasons that had increased their negativity towards life and increased the attraction of death. Some surveys have proved that everybody does not have an attraction for life but some have it for death also. The negativity increases due to many reasons such as not getting proper guidance in proper age, feeling of getting lost in life, finding ones own incapabilities, stagnant feeling, blank future etc; the parents, teachers and friends increase it and it leads to a plan of finishing ones own life. At this point, the thoughts maybe that if ‘I can’t take the pressure at this age then how will I survive through the harder pressures in life? It is better to finish it off at the earliest to avoid all further complications.’ Usually parents are held responsible for this. They become helpless and don’t find their mistake but everybody makes them feel guilty but nobody understands their pain. They are stuck within the blades of a scissor. A very important point here is that parents don’t accept their children and children don’t have trust in their parents. We have seen that hormonal changes lead to a change in the self-image. These children become arrogant, stubborn and moody and their behavior changes suddenly. They loose interest in studies. Due to physical attraction they start finding love and affection in the outside world. If their expectations are not fulfilled and if their parents’ view towards them is also spoilt, then they go crazy. Parents insult them in front of others, make comparisons with others, give constant suggestions/ instructions so they will change their behavior by giving examples of ideal people or of their own, they just decline their children’s identity. High expectations for marks in the exam, too many restrictions, labeling them, making fun of them in front of others, these things are done by parents unknowingly. They do this due to love and concern about their child but the child takes it otherwise. It leads to anger, bitterness and mistrust towards parents. It leads to stubbornness, they feel ashamed of being unable to fulfill their parents’ expectations and even feel as if they are burdensome for their parents, a feeling of being unwanted creeps in, they may feel that nobody bothers about them or nobody understands their feelings. This leads to a feeling of loneliness and it results in loss of confidence. If the child is born in a situation when the parents were not ready for him/her, then he/she starts hating his own birth situation. This vicious cycle of thoughts and emotions leads to an apathy towards life and depression and then the person starts planning to end his life. The parents load their children with great expectations and ignore his/her depression. Sometimes they threaten them with the struggle that will be needed to find a job, sometimes with their own poor financial status or sometimes with the cut throat competition that the children will have to face to get admission in the desired college or course. The parents just want their children to study well and get success in life. Sometimes children themselves pull the burden on themselves and sink under its pressure. These children take the extreme decision of suicide with the thought of teaching a lesson to their parents or they feel that death can lead to an end of all these problems. Let us see the types of suicides –
- Completed Suicide
- Attempted Suicide
- Para Suicide
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Completed Suicide: The suicide which leads to death is called as completed suicide. The purpose behind it is to end one’s life. This may happen due to depression or due to attraction of death. Some or the other time this person may have mentioned the thought of suicide or this person suddenly starts behaving happily. They don’t give any signal to people around them and do it with full planning. Whatever method is used for this, it may lead to repentance because of attraction of life but death is inevitable. If anybody has expressed such thoughts then it should be taken seriously. This can help to avoid such suicides. That is why it is very important that children and parents should take the help of a counselor.
- Attempted Suicide: If a person does not have knowledge about the methods of death and tries to suicide with half knowledge or in an emotional impulse; the suicide attempt may get failed and the life of the person can be saved due to immediate help. He/she may start his/ her life with a fresh outlook or sometimes may try the same path again. These people may get the feeling of shame or guilt or may feel helpless due to their survival or feel gratitude for being saved.
- Para Suicide: In this type, the person has no intention of death. He just wants to blackmail or scare others; he may do this purposely in front of others to catch their attention. He will hurt himself just a little bit and will take care that he won’t die. Sometimes making a small cut on the wrist, swallowing small quantity of sleeping pills or using a delicate rope to hang or jumping off from a small height or driving a vehicle very fast etc; by doing all these things these people try to scare others but deep inside they are not ready to die or are even scared of death. If children are doing something like this, they should be handled properly.
- Suicidal Thoughts: In this type, suicidal thoughts come to the mind just as a reaction to the circumstances or to relieve the feeling of depression. The person may or may not express his thoughts but he/she doesn’t have any intention of committing suicide. These children will say. “I want to die but don’t have the courage. I won’t be able to do so.” So these thoughts can be neglected but their emotional problems should be discussed in time.