Suicides, in India, have been steadily rising over the years. Some attribute it to the changing nature of the world and its many judgmental ways, which puts pressure on children from a young age to behave in a certain way, forcing them to be what they are not. Peer pressure and the need to fit in, to be among the ‘in’ people is another driving force behind the growing number of suicides, as children feel that they are being shoehorned into a role, one which is not what they truly are, one far removed from their true reality, in some ways depriving them of meaning in their lives.
Pressure, be it work pressure, familial pressure, or just from friends, which results in a person having to give up his or her own self to fit in to the mould of expectations, slowly bending under the great pressure before he or she finally snaps and breaks is one of the major reasons behind suicides today. After all, there is only so much the human mind can take before it either gives in to defeat and despair, or cracks and begins the road to insanity.
With growing competition in the world today, there are tremendous pressures in the workplace, and youth fresh out of colleges is often under-equipped to handle them, not having learnt the true face of the corporate world in the safety of their colleges.
Then there is the ever-increasing competition to get into top colleges and B-schools or med schools in the country, a competition which is as cut-throat as any in the workplace. Those who fail to get in, and who come from extremely strict families, often feel that they have somehow failed and shamed their parents and they end up taking their own lives. This has happened too often to be overlooked, and it is something which happens since the first sinister ‘Board exam’ that the child gives in 10th grade.
Of course, those who clear these exams and make into their vaunted college of choice aren’t safe either, since now they have to sit in a classroom full of equally intelligent and hardworking students, all revved up to race towards success, and in the process, those who fall behind are plagued with doubts and anxiety. Others realize that this was never their passion and they are following someone else’s dream, and they feel that they are stuck in a loop of unhappiness, with death as the only escape, the only answer.
In all of these cases, it is obvious that the major problem is a lack of communication. But Suicide Helplines, though useful, won’t be of help to someone who is afraid of seeking help, or unwilling to expose what they feel is their failure to the world. Thus, it is imperative that a person’s family, friends and even colleagues communicate with them when they seem to be down in the dumps, or seem to be in the throes of despair, to try and pull them out of their funk, and to show them that they are not alone, that they have value, that they are loved.
After all, dying is easy, it’s living and fighting on that truly takes courage. And you weren’t made to quit, to give up. Life’s to beautiful to falter and fade away. Continue fighting the good fight.
Carry on my wayward son.