Young Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai. He had been battling depression for the past several months and killed himself, as per news reports.
Why would a successful actor, leading a luxurious life, kill himself? Why would he be depressed?
Depression with suicidal behaviour is a serious health condition. The brain is constantly telling the individual that 'you are no good', 'no hope going forward', 'you have no value' and so on. The patient will suffer without realising that these distressing thoughts are due to an imbalance in the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
No matter how sensible the individual is, the mind will grapple under the illness. The next thought is how to end it?
Wondering how I can make such an accurate evaluation? I myself have survived the dark phase of depression.
A woman from a well-to-do family with a successful career and two doting children… When I tried to take my life, people were not kind to me. They dubbed my desperate action as a mere ploy to get more attention. Were they disappointed that I did not die?
But several people stood by me. I got support even from least-expected quarters. I am eternally grateful to my psychiatrist who has supported me from that dark period till now. I cannot thank my friends enough. I still periodically meet my doctor and have my medicines on time. Whenever I feel worthless or weak, I contact my phycologist friend.
I have been able to defeat depression to a large extent. But I take care of myself mostly for the sake of my children. I think I will have fully succeeded only when I have learned to love myself.
There is a strong link between depression and suicidal behaviour.
Depression is not a rare condition. When a depressing feeling affects every aspect of life, including sleep and appetite, and this utter sense of loss continues to haunt the person for more than two weeks, that condition is termed as depression.
Depression, substance abuse, suicides in family, unexpected demise of dear ones, those suffering from critical illnesses such as cancer and AIDS, and prison terms are the major factors that make a person vulnerable to suicide, according to studies.
An individual who has attempted suicide once is at a heightened risk of trying to end his life again in the next year.
There are even people who search for new methods to commit suicide on Google. They find no real need to live. We need to understand that some people are adopting the culture of instant gratification even in matters of life and death.
Listen to a distressed soul
Firstly, people suffering from depression need to understand that they are just one among the several people grappling with similar negative thoughts. It is imperative that such people talk about their suicidal thoughts to someone close to them. These people might not have the desire to live but a patient listener can help them understand how worthy life is.
The suicidal thought, the method and when the circumstance presents itself, suicide happens. It may not be possible to block out the suicidal thoughts. But it is definitely possible to avoid getting access to knife, rope and other harmful objects. Also, try not to be alone. Spend more time with friends and family. If suicidal thoughts haunt you despite these steps, then you should definitely seek treatment.
If your friend, a relative, acquaintance or even a stranger shows any suicidal behaviour, then please give attention to that person. A sense of urgency, preparing the will suddenly, and finishing up tasks urgently could all signal an imminent tragedy. Our biggest task is to listen to them during these difficult times.
Do not view their steps as a means to seek attention. Do not mock their actions either.
I have come across obscene comments on Facebook when people post or talk about their suicide behaviour. Such heartless responses can only be termed as inhumane.
One person commits suicide every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. That shocking statistics paints a scary yet true picture of how many people are contemplating suicide.
We should not be just saddened by the demise of the Bollywood actor. Several of the smiling faces amidst us are hiding similar desperate thoughts. We need to be ashamed that we have not been able to reach out to such souls around us.
Doctors are not the only saviours. All of us are saviours, guardians of life. For that we need to keep our eyes and ears open... our minds too.