Why Timely Identification of Suicidal Tendencies is Vital to Saving Lives


Over 7,00,000 people die by suicide every year which means one person every 40 seconds, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). The health body said that suicide is a global phenomenon. Reasons for suicide vary from person to person. However, timely intervention by relatives and friends can save a person from developing suicidal thoughts.

According to the WHO, 77 percent of suicides occurred in low and middle-income countries in 2019. It said that suicide accounted for 1.3% of all deaths worldwide in 2019.

World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated every year on September 10 to raise awareness among people to prevent suicide tendencies.

Former Delhi University (DU) professor and clinical psychologist Dr Aruna Broota said that the act of suicide is so “unpredictable and sudden” that it is difficult to identify the sign in advance.

“Now, some scientific techniques are emerging to study the behaviour of a person and ascertain the suicidal tendency in a person. However, suicidal tendencies can be identified only by experts. There is very little chance that common people can identify these signs. If detected in early stages, a person can be treated, and hence can be prevented from attempting suicide,” she said.

However, Dr Broota said that there are some scientific reasons for suicidal tendencies that can’t be ignored.

“Suicide can also be genetic. A person may also have suicidal tendencies if he/she belongs to a family wherein someone died by suicide. Several types of biochemical disorders can also promote the tendency of suicide in a person,” she said.

“Mood swings and Schizoid personality disorder can be a major reason for suicide in people from affluent families,” she added.

Psychologist Broota said that if a person shows a negative mindset in everything and behaves abnormally, then his/her family should support and motivate him to think positively. If the person continues to behave abnormally for several days, families should consult a psychiatrist, she said.

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