It is estimated that about 15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their life. The World Health Organisation estimates over 300 million people in the world currently living with depression. Almost 800,000 people commit suicide every year, and for each of those, there are 25 times more suicide attempts.
If we talk about India, the suicide rate according to a 2012 Lancet report is highest in the 15-29 age group. The report says that among men, 40% suicides were by individuals aged 15-29, while for women it was almost 60%. In Kashmir, nearly 24,000 men and women, mostly young, have attempted suicide in the last 17 years. Of them, about 3,000 have been successful. Most of them were between the age of 16 and 25. The figures point to a grim psychological situation in the conflict-ridden Valley.
According to studies, 79 percent of the urban and rural population in Kashmir suffers from depression. Anxiety, stress and depression are some of the factors that contribute to suicide. Suicide is also more prevalent in teenagers and youngsters, especially females. If we compare Kashmir to western societies, the rate is less, but among Muslim societies it is probably the highest.
Parental pressure, tough competition in studies and career, lack of moral and religious education, love affairs gone wrong are some of the reasons that drive youngsters to suicide. But suicide doesn’t heal any pain, nor solve any problem. In fact, it gives more pain to those one loves. One should be grateful for having whatever one has in life. Suicide is a sin that even god does not forgive.
Allah says, Do not kill yourselves [Quran 4: 29].
Thabit Ibn Al-Dahak narrated that the Prophet said, “Whosoever kills himself with anything in this world will be tortured with it on the Day of Judgment.”
The person who commits suicide leaves behind people who die a thousand deaths trying to understand what happened. Sometimes people who commit suicide are not fully aware or are in such a dark place that they don’t consider that taking their own life will create immense pain for their loved ones. Imagine how you would feel if a person you care deeply about took his or her life? It is in any case difficult to recover from the death of a loved one, but it’s much harder if the individual committed suicide. The act of suicide leaves people behind with unanswered questions and feelings of confusion and shame, as well as the guilt at not being able to prevent the suicide.
“If you want to show me that you really love me, don’t say that you would die for me, but instead stay alive for me.” This inspirational line shows the deep love of a friend, family member or a life partner. People who feel suicidal often feel that they are a burden to their loved ones. This quote serves as a reminder that your loved ones would much prefer you to stay in their lives than to leave it.
Every person must live in hope. There is no reason or excuse for becoming pessimistic. The world is full of opportunities. If someone fails in doing something, he or she should consider it as a temporary setback, not a final failure. One has to adopt the policy of wait and watch, rather than thinking that there is nothing more to see. Our educated youths and social activists should come forward to highlight the ill effects of suicide and how to curb this growing tendency.
The writer is studying for a Masters in Political Science. [email protected]