Pradeep Pattanayak

With the recent incident of a nursing college student’s hanging body found in a hostel room in Bhubaneswar, questions have been raised as to why the state is witnessing a spurt in the suicide tendency over recent years. 

If the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is anything to go by, on an average, 15 persons commit suicide every day. According to the recently published accidental deaths and suicides in India-2021 report of the NCRB, a total of 5,546 persons ended their lives in 2020. In 2021, the number was 5,651 which is a two per cent increase from the previous year. 

Of the total 5,651 suicidal cases, the number of males is way more than the number of females. In 2021, while a total of 1,239 females committed suicide, 4,412 males ended their lives. 

Such a disturbing tendency has become a serious cause of concern, leaving doctors, psychologists, thinkers and political leaders to put their brains together to trace the cause. 

Noted psychiatrist Dr Samrat Kar ascribes it to one or the other mental problems. 

“Students and youths take the extreme step when they can’t find a way to get out of the mental stress or problems. In past, they were able to stand against such a situation. Now, they lack in such quality,” said Dr Kar. 

“Why is the present generation incapable of dealing with the problems? The answer to this question lies in our family structure. Earlier, they would live in joint families having grandparents, paternal uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters. In case of any problem, they would have someone to discuss with and get suggestions or solace,” he added. 

“The time has changed. The joint family system has become a thing of the past. The youths have more social media friends than real ones. So they can’t get someone to share their problems with. A problem shared is a problem halved.  The mental stress becomes half when shared,” opined Dr Kar. 

Saying about the problems the students are passing through, he said, “The students are handling a lot of pressure for which their parents have to take the blame. Upon comparison, they always put pressure on them to perform better.” 

When asked about the role of friends and relatives of a mentally-stressed person, Dr Kar said, “How can we know that a person is mentally stressed? He or she will remain sad, stop talking to others and start to feel that s/he has more problems and sufferings than others. Then the role of friends and relatives comes into the scene.”

“On this Teachers’ Day, I would like to say that teachers too have a role in relieving the stress level in a student.  Nowadays, instead of parents, teachers are bringing their students to us, complaining about some abrupt changes in their behaviour. Since students spend more time with teachers, they can easily identify the changes in them,” observed Dr Kar. 

“In order to manage their stress level successfully, I would like to advise students to find time to do some yoga, pranayams, take a break from study and go around the nearby garden. This way they can remain stress-free,” maintained Dr Kar.