A very old statistics reveals these facts which I have given as under:
- Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
- The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population.
- On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
- 8% of worldwide deaths are suicides.
- Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.
Can you imagine what could be the stats now in 2016???
Years have passed away since Anamika’s death, but I feel a shiver in my spine even now when I recall her face. Her smiling face keeps flashing in front of my eyes. When I saw her for the last time her face was looking pale as if she was much burdened and wanted to tell me so many things. But she could not do that. It was only me who could not give her enough space to make her comfortable to share her heartache with me.
So many times the family members and friends around the person who commits suicide find it difficult to understand the tendencies of that person. Understanding the Suicidal Tendencies in a person is of utmost importance to give a break to the staggering stats that we have come to know which must have really shaken us.
I remember when I went in my vacation. I was busy with my friends playing cricket, cards, roaming around and celebrating with them. I could not imagine how quickly those 10/12 days passed away. She was a neighbour and was part of our group. Her family and my family were in good terms. We all friends were together almost the whole day except night time. She was with us always too. But when we were alone she would remain silent all of a sudden in the middle of our talks many times. I was so naive to be aware of the pain that she was going through. I was in 12th class so was not mature enough to understand that. I was busy making fun. She even showed me a letter a guy had given her. She read few lines for me also. She was talking about that guy. I do not even remember what she was talking about. What was her problem? I was so inattentive that time.
Sudden withdrawal from general/normal activities:
Only if I would have been little attentive to her that time I could have realized what information she was providing me regarding her extreme sadness. I could have easily felt that emotion and understood the sign, the tendency of suicide in her.
We need to know that when an active and jolly person shows withdrawal from all the activities suddenly then that could be taken as major signs or tendencies of suicide. We should be warned of danger. In those 10 / 12 days Anamika had withdrawn herself so many times which I was not aware of at all.
My vacation time came to an end. I was ready to come back to my place of study. I said good bye to her. She was looking terribly pale. She held my hands and said, “So you’re going?” Her voice was feeble. I thought this to be just an emotional expression caused by my departure. But I never thought it would be an everlasting departure.
Terrible Emotional Loss:
When somebody’s loved one dies or somebody fails in exams, or somebody loses his / her job or something then we should be watchful about them. These people go through terrible and traumatic conditions. We should stay around them with our eyes wide open.
How I wish that I had stayed around her that particular time. When I recall her face now, I can easily imagine that extreme emotional agony and pain which she was going through that time.
I came back to my place -to my maternal grandparent’s place where I was living. After 4 or 5 months of returning I started preparing for my 12th board exams. That time I received a letter from my mom where she had written that an accident that she witnessed had traumatized her. I thought my mom is scared of something as she is always.
My exam finished. Summer vacation started. My parents also came to spend few days with us that time. That day after the breakfast my mom started crying and told me about the accident she wrote in the letter. She said, “Anamika is no more, she committed suicide, and nobody knows why she did that.”
I was stunned for few minutes. I could not accept what I heard. Her face started dancing in front of me. I stood there for sometime looking at my mom sobbing and telling me about her. Then I went to the bathroom and started weeping silently. All the memories of my last visit flashed back. The only thought that was torturing me was that I could not help her; I could not save her life. She was opening up before me, but I could not understand her heartache. I literally started blaming myself for her life. Even today I have that guilt in some corner of my heart.
Sudden changes in behaviour/personality:
When we find a sudden change in a person’s behaviour then we should be alert of the danger. Somebody who used to be very strong mentally sobs or weeps without any valid reasons and it happens constantly then we should watch out and stay alert. It’s not easy actually because people who are shy and introvert struggle to handle the emotional pain comparatively than the outgoing and extrovert ones. And it is really very difficult to understand the trouble shining in their faces who are generally quiet at normal times. How would somebody understand the changes in behaviour? May be it is possible when we watch that person very closely.
I remember my mother telling about her behaviors few days before she committed suicide. She shared how Anamika used to come to our parent’s quarter often and spend time with my mom for 1 or 2 hours at a stretch. She didn’t have the desire to go back to her own home. She used to love the prayer time at my parents’ place.
This behaviour of hers was also not considered at that time.
Extreme Guilt Conscious:
The person committing suicide usually displays feelings like self-hatred, extreme guilt consciousness, unforgiving attitude for self. These are really very scary and cannot be ignored. They need immediate attention and care.
Anamika’s family was a very educated family. All her elder siblings were very good in studies. She was doing in studies very well too. But she failed that year in her college exam and was going through depressive situations. I realized it later after everything was done… Huh!!! 😦
There might be something more to the story which I was not aware of but still there were few clear signs of suicide that could have been handled in a very sensitive and mature way.
Talks only about death/suicide:
If certain person only talks about death and suicide and shows unnecessary interest on those topics or asks about the pain or how the feeling can be when somebody commits suicide or keeps a record of these facts then we should be aware ad alert of the danger around that person.
We didn’t remember whether Anamika had ever asked questions about death or even expressed anything concerning suicide.
That night I prayed to God and asked forgiveness for not availing the opportunity given to me. I asked Him the strength and the power to observe people closely, to be a good listener, to be attentive to people’s needs and to understand their heartaches. This memory made me sensitive to the slightest pain of any person I interact with. It alerts me every time I talk to a young boy or girl about their problems. Despite the guilt and pain, I am really grateful to God for teaching me this hard learnt lesson.
All the above signs are inter-linked. All or most of the signs may be seen in one person. We should be careful immediately after seeing at least one of the signs. Then only we can save a life.
Let’s give a serious thought to it…
But before ending I would like to encourage with much concern to all the readers and those who are going through deep emotional agony about what Dr. Ravi Zacharias says in his article, Antidote to Poison: “God is the Grand Weaver, capable of creating an unexpected and beautiful pattern out of a broken life.”
So surrender your life to Him and He will lift you up at the right time.