Friday, June 22, 2012
Suicide is the second-most common cause of death among young people in India and is set to overtake complications from pregnancy and childbirth as the lead cause among women aged 15 to 29
For Indian men in the same age group, suicide claimed just slightly fewer lives than transport accidents in 2010. The suicide rate is highest among well-educated young people from India's richer, southern states. Young educated Indians from the richer states of India are killing themselves in numbers that are almost the highest in the world. In the Western world, suicide is more common among older, poorer and lesser educated people. Some 900,000 people around the world kill themselves every year, according to the World Health Organization - about 13 out of every 100,000. Of the global total, nearly 190,000 suicides were believed to have occurred in India in 2010 - second only to China with an estimated 200,000 cases per year. India has a population of about 1.2 billion and China some 1.3 billion - together they account for more than a third of the world population of seven billion. The rate of suicide among women in India was three times higher than in high-income countries, but tapered off among women who were either divorced, widowed or separated from their husbands. This is consistent with other research from India that marriage is also a risk factor for depression, which is of course the commonest mental illness associated with suicide. The most plausible explanation is that for many women marriage is not out of choice and they find themselves trapped in very difficult and stressful social circumstance and of course there is the huge issue of domestic violence. Self-poisoning by pesticide is the method most often used, followed by hanging. Most Indians do not have access to suicide prevention programs or mental health care. Suicide is a crime in India. Globally, suicide is the most common cause of death in female adolescents and the third in young men after road traffic accidents and violence.