Student suicides overand their aftermath

Abstract:

The leading causes of student suicides

Main Article:

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Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young adults. The incidence and figures are alarming. Young males are found to be 3 -5 times more likely to kill themselves than their female colleagues. Most people who attempt suicide are ambivalent about killing themselves - frequently what they seek is to put a stop to unbearable feelings or a situation that seems intolerable. Someone who is suicidal may well be feeling frightened, trapped, hopeless, helpless, confused and distressed - and desperate to escape from his or her suffering rather than actually wanting to die. While it is true that having thoughts about suicide are very common, the thought will probably cross the mind of the majority of people at some point in their lives but when a student puts an end to his life, it is not only disturbing, it points to a problem – the reluctance of the young to take problems in his stride and the deteriorated state of communication the young have with their caretakers.

One of the leading causes of suicide universally is depression. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Over 60% of people who die by suicide suffer from major depressive disorder. Depression is most of the time, unrecognized and untreated.

The leading causes of student suicides

For some, suicide could be a following-act post a period of depression while for others it is likely to be an impulsive act, triggered by a traumatic experience, like the death of a loved one, or by a relatively insignificant event which may be seen as the ‘final straw’. Other feelings and experiences that have been known to contribute to feeling suicidal include:

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Lonelines:

Loneliness experienced by students especially when they move away from home into hostel settings can develop into a consuming feeling that there is no one for them and that no one will really care or notice whether they are alive or dead. These people will miss family and friends in a new setting and feel alone and isolated.

Feeling hopeless and helpless:

The student may start feeling that no matter what he/she does, nothing seems to get better and that no one is forthcoming with help.

Feeling worthless:

Every phase of life brings newer challenges. In new settings, even minor challenges can seem to students to be growing out of proportion and out of the scope of their ability to manage. They will feel caught and start feeling that they cannot possibly make any difference to the world, especially when faced with heavy competition. The feeling can lead them to having low self-esteem. Even commendations will start looking made-up to these people.

Depression:

Anything can trigger a bout of depression in a person. Teens have varied perceptions of themselves because of the different settings they are exposed to as they grow. Their minds can assimilate a lot of things faster and for the same reason, they also imbibe negativity faster. This will lead to them having deeply negative feelings about the world and its connection to their lives.

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It is possible for a teen to be depressed despite all his talents and achievements. The depressed also often ignore those who care deeply for them. Their internal perception of themselves and their assumed problems are graver to them.

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Inability to cope:

A college student’s life while being very colourful can also be stressful. Youngsters find coping with the new life difficult for two reasons – their hormonal development and managing of expectations. Young adults are at a point where they feel overwhelmed by the expectations placed on them by parents, teachers and their immediate society; and the responsibilities they feel as a person reaching adulthood. Being overwhelmed can start making even a simple class project look unmanageable and can lead to a melt-down. Many students fail to cope primarily out of fear of making mistakes and because of their lack of experience. When faced with problems in different areas of life at the same time - for example academic problems, a family crisis and, the ending of a relationship - the sense of pain may be overwhelming and could weaken the coping threshold. Instances of ragging or harassment also contribute to the victim considering suicide as a way out of the pain, agony, embarrassment and humiliation.

When plans fail :

Expectations of oneself and goals a person sets for himself are a predominant part of his life. When people plan their lives, every instance that occurs is taken personally. Not being able to settle down into the college atmosphere, a sudden financial catastrophe at home, break-up of an important relationship, not achieving academic goals, etc. can result in the student feeling inadequate, ashamed, unloved and, a failure. Such feelings can induce inappropriate levels of stress and trigger a mental need to get away from it all, cultivating feelings of suicide in the student.

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Falling apart under stress is more commonly noticed in students who are usually high achievers. Stress undermines even a bright student’s ability to attempt things differently. They start feeling an endangerment to their identity. Stress build-up around project submission and examination dates also are known to increasing drive students to attempt suicide.

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Anger:

Suicides are sometimes an act of vengeance. Hurt and pain take avenging form to punish the causative agent – the person who gave them the pain. The suicidal feel the way to make the other person realise and repent for their mistake is to give them something unforgettable. They feel a need to reach as much pain to the other party as they themselves received from them.

Alcohol and drugs:

Suicides instigated by addictions are gaining ground. Suicides under the influence of alcohol or drugs, by impulse are also more common than the ones under cases of addictions. The vulnerability to attempt suicides are higher under the influence of drugs for, drugs dim a person’s cognitive abilities.

Difficulties in relationships :

New-found personal relationships such as a boy friend or a girlfriend can sometimes put undue pressure on a student. Because the relationship is new, the ability of the partners to assimilate the one another fully will be lacking. Everyone’s point of reference for any relationship is the people who are closely involved with them – mostly parents and siblings. Teens often lack the understanding that their new partner is a person different and that the same rapport, love, care and concern that existed in one’s family do not apply here.

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A history of mental or physical illness:

Students who have a history of physical or mental illness find it easier to break in the event of stressful situations, their stress compounded by their ailment. When ailments block efficient functioning, it leaves the student feeling confused and powerless.

Risk indicators

As with CPR, it is vital for everyone to have an understanding of trigger points for suicide and the most generic indicators of the suicidal.

These indicators include:

Guilt, shame or uncontrollable rage

Thoughts of self-destruction and being expressive boy about them Vagueness Depression or trauma Detailing a suicide plan Talking about feeling suicidal Substance abuse

Behavioural changes: ranging from increasingly risk-taking to self-destructive actions Giving away of prized possessions Loss of a relationship Academic failure Feelings of humiliation and not receiving love and respect Lack of interest Low self-esteem Suicide prevention

In most cases, only the suicidal are aware of what is coming next for them. They usually plan the event for days and months although in some cases, it is a moment of madness, thoughtless and recklessness. The first step to suicide prevention is to examine one’s own feelings and views and seek help. To overcome suicidal thoughts and action, the victim needs to find someone they trust and confess to them their problems and feelings. It could be a friend, parent, relative, teacher or a psychologist.

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Because the suicidal may be nervous and impatient, they will also feel that people they talk to do not understand the depth of their problem. It is also because of the fact that not everyone is mature, smart or intelligent enough to handle someone who is on the verge of bringing upon himself and others, a very big tragedy. Not everyone is born to be a good counsellor and friend. The way out of this vicious circle is to keep looking till a reasonable person is found and the problems shared. Most young people do not share their problems with others for fear of being not understood, laughed at or ridiculed. That is probably the second worst thought a suicidal person usually has, the first being considering suicide as an option to escape.

For the suicidal

A suicidal crisis is temporary. You might feel that your pain and unhappiness will never end but reality is that, problems however severe, are only temporary. Taking your own life does not make the problem go way. Suicide is a cowardly act. It is the refusal to be strong and fight for what is yours. It is running away. It is being spineless. During a suicidal crisis, being logical and staying calm are the last thing on the victim’s mind. But those are the only two things that can keep you alive. Do nothing about whatever you are feeling. Give it time. Let it go. Killing oneself has never resolved anything anywhere anytime. By killing oneself the problem doesn’t go away. You will only end up adding more complications to an existing uneasy situation.

It is always easy to crumble and give up in the face of opposition. But that is not how some of the world’s most celebrated achievements were made.

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If every person killed himself over every problem, then the world would be barren. There is only a very small difference between pain and glory. The difference is called guts.

Life isn’t easy - neither for you, nor for anyone else. Take every day as it comes, one day at a time; or one concern at a time or even one hour at a time.

How to handle a suicidal person

Suicidal people are often at the verge of their patience. Their emotions may range from angry to moody, funny and childish but dangerously destructive. Persons who come face to face with the suicidal need to stay calm and in control.

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It is necessary for the counsellor to take control early on in the conversation. If the counsellor feels that the person cannot be handled by them, they need to seek professional help to aid the suicidal person.

The four keywords to remember while dealing with a suicidal person are

The aftermath of a suicide

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The permanence of the solution shuts down the lives of many others. When a youngster commits suicide, it shakes up those close to him, especially the parents. It turns their world upside down. They never recover from the shock even after years pass. The shock of a child’s suicide has in some cases even driven the parents to suicide.

To the dead, dying may seem to end it all. The real problem however never goes away. In addition, the suicide opens up a barrage of problems for the ones alive. Family, friends and acquaintances face legal interrogation. Visits to police station, the wait in front of the morgue, receiving the autopsied body, signing of papers, answering investigators, being socially shunned, being at the receiving end of society gossip pretty much make up the rest the life of those parents who survive the casualty. There is nothing more heart-breaking for a parent than receiving their beloved child’s body from the morgue and having to bury their beloved. Years may pass, but the stigma attached to the family of the one who committed suicide never fades. The gossips never stop.

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Probable reasons of the suicide never stop from being debated. The real truth behind the death is never really found out or known. Suicide is such an undignified way to die.

In conclusion

Suicide is being identified as one of the most leading causes of death alongside cancer, AIDS, cardiac arrests and accidents. The number of deaths by suicide can be stopped only if we as a society take charge and promise to look out for one another.

BUDDING MANAGERS
JUNE 2014 ISSUE


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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Saturday, 5 July, 2014 - 13:47

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