Teen Suicide - An Emerging Menace

Khyati Gautam | 27-May-2017

The competition demands one to be a savage spirit because a meek and a subversive person can never withstand it.

Exams come to rescue when we are extremely happy in our lives. These words can be heard from the students who feel the tremor of exams. Exams make them anxious, and that anxiety drives them crazy. But there is a yet another thing that has the capability to terrify the students and blow their minds entirely. It is the worst nightmare that makes them weak in the knees. The very thought of it instils fear in the students, and they could be seen grappling with it. The enormity of its impact is realised when the suicide stories make it to the headlines of the newspaper repeatedly. The manner in which students take their lives is terrible and send shivers down the spine. A question arises in the mind that how can a RESULT cause a huge damage? How can the fear of failure be so profound and destructive that it culminates in death!

It is rightly said that we give power to trivial things by letting them pervade our hearts and the mind.

In India, a child is brought up with the burden of high expectations laid on his shoulders. The desires that they are expected to fulfil strangles the flow of their creativity which is willing to proliferate out of their insides via a mighty pen, a light brush, a scintillating dance move, a melodious song, a hearty smile, etc. The child is pushed recklessly in the world of fierce competition. Even if he is not able to sprint he is forced to run – run fast to achieve an eternal success (as people quote).

Committing suicide out of despair and devastation has emerged as a trend. Now and then the news regarding such attempts could be heard. This is an astonishing truth.

The current scenario is witnessing a stir in the increasing rates of suicide cases. According to the National Bureau of Crime Records, in 2014 alone, 8032 cases of suicide were reported out of which in only 30% of the cases, failure in exams was the cause. This makes it clear that the fear of results is not the only reason behind the suicide attempts. It is just one part of the many causes intertwined that shake the spirit of a student and leads him into taking away his life.

Teen Suicide - An Emerging Menace

Image courtesy- hsprospector.com

According to the 2012 Lancet Report, India stands among the top countries where the suicide rates for youth is exponentially high. Moreover, the figures are rising at an alarming rate. These horrible reports triggered the need for an extensive research to discover, explore and analyse the reasons behind the dismal conditions.

The following causes came to light on compiling data from several research reports:

1. Outdated Opinions-

Students find it hard to deal with the obsolete idea of education. They can’t identify themselves with it. Pick up a subject that is popular – like math or science, prepare yourself to vie to get into an elite institution, pass out with a hefty package and make your parents proud. Why only a high salary satisfies our parents? This is a question that every child wants to ask from their parents but abstains from doing it or else the elders will be offended. Asking for the answers to their queries is of vital importance for the children, but they avoid taking a further step because the elders find it disrespecting and ridiculous. There is no room for an atmosphere where the kin and the child get themselves indulge in a meaningful conversation. Parents often compare their child with others that build up a negative feeling in them. This results in inferiority complex and dissatisfaction from oneself. The career choices are based upon the conventional mindset, and it hampers the natural creativity of a prodigy. These obscure set of norms are responsible for the child’s disappointment.

2. Peer Pressure-

Friends make the course of the life smoother, and the journey gets happier. They make sailing through the storms partially easier. A bunch of good friends by one’s side helps one to face the difficulties and clear the mist that wraps their lives. But what if the sweet taste of friendship turns sour and buries you under the debris of pressure which is insurmountable and immerses you in the gloom. However hard we may try to console ourselves, the grim reality remains intact that it is elusive to find an escape from the desire of being in the company. All of us want to fit in a frame, to be a part of a much sought after cool gang at the expense of our conscience and morals. Yes, this is a bitter truth that the affinity towards the peers may cost one heavy on their principles and values. Body shaming and bullying are the crimes on the moral grounds. Such acts may severely affect the mental health of the victim ushering him into the utter darkness.

3. Times is Nowhere-

When we share our sorrows, it becomes half. We feel relieved by venting our pent up emotions and setting ourselves free of the burden. The world outside may be hard, but it becomes easier to cope when the comfort of our homes helps us. The prevalent culture of the modern nuclear family, a fast-paced life, and an urge to mint more money on order to meet the two ends meet to leave the parents with little time to devote to their children. They are too busy to hear their woes. Hence, the feelings get piled up within the child, and when he finds it unbearable, he is bound to take a lethal decision. Listening is very important. One should master this art.

4. Cyber World-

The world of internet has information galore. It encompasses all the solutions to the issues concerning our hazy lives. It is the destination where one engages in the virtual friendships and relationships. As the time proceeds, the reality betrays at the dead end. The cyber world is treacherous. It is like a maze. As you get more involved with it, eventually you lose the way out of it. The potential dangers this cyber world has in its folds harms you drastically. The teens tend to find solace and pleasure here, but it proffers agony and catastrophic circumstances.

Certain other causes are: comparison that lowers the morale of the children, an unrequited teenage love, fear, failure, inferiority complex, inability to tackle the troubles, solitude, lack of confidence, compulsion to chase the norms, parental pressure and the responsibilities, etc 

Youths are considered to be the powerhouse of any nation. A talented young generation can contribute greatly towards the betterment of the society and development of the country. Their talents should not be disregarded. In fact, the individuality of each child should be respected. Opportunities must be provided to them to let them prove their mettle and exhibit their extraordinary and unique prowess.

Each human life is precious, and it does not deserve to end like this. Concrete efforts must be made to curb this burgeoning menace of suicide because it is one of the major threat to the humanity and curse for the humankind. The shift in the traditional mindset is the need of the hour. Mental health is something that holds a great importance. A striking mental disturbance should not be looked upon with disdain. It is not worthy of criticism and mockery. Rather it requires being handled with patience and love. Embrace the flaws in others. Because there is a crack in each one of us. Accept others the way they are and spread happiness.

The cases of teen suicide are aggravating rapidly. The controlling action is necessary at this point to combat this issue at the earliest because its enormity will have the dire consequences. This current scenario calls for a pragmatic solution, and it is the time for all of us to be vigilant so that children can be drawn out of this vicious idea of ending their lives to get free of all the challenges.

Cry of every teenage heart:

I am a walking around silently,
But inside I am screaming.
I am passing a beaming smile,
But pay more attention you’ll find me weeping.
I want to say a few words to ease my pain,
But all I can feel is this solid chain.
My soul refrains from speaking,
Because this world will find it silly.
I can’t put my demons to rest,
Because if I shriek the people will detest.
Please listen to me,
Let me get myself rid of the agony.
Lend your ears to my despondence,
So that, I can see myself with reverence.
All I desire is to be heard for once.
To live a life bright and young!
Life is beautiful, Make it the one for others!

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About the Author
Khyati Gautam
Khyati Gautam is from Bhopal. She is an ardent writer and a voracious reader. She writes for multiple blogs on issues concerning her. She has got published in 2 anthologies and in the e-magazine of literary fairy tales. She aspires to become a professional writer in the future.