Photo: flickr: noii
A new study published in the British medical journal the Lancet has found that suicide is the second most common cause of death for Indians aged between 15 and 29 years old.In a surprising contrast with patterns seen in the US and Europe, the highest rates of suicide were found amongst young, wealthy and educated Indians, the authors wrote in “Suicide mortality in India: a nationally representative survey”. Females were also more likely to kill themselves than males, the reverse of what researchers usually find.
Quite why that contrast exists is hard to say. Writing in the Indian newspaper the Hindu, lead author Vikram Patel of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine theorized:
One possibility is that the higher rates of suicide in the more developed and educated communities of India may be attributed to the greater likelihood of disappointments when aspirations that define success and happiness are distorted or unmet by the reality faced by young people in a rapidly changing society where jobs may be higher paying but less secure and where social networking more accessible but loneliness more common.
Crucially, there’s a large difference between suicide rates in different regions, and that points to the role of social factors contributing to suicides, Patel told the Times of India.
The study found that despite claiming a larger percentage of deaths than AIDS or maternal deaths, suicide was rarely talked about in Indian society, and also recommended restricting access to pesticides, which many people use to kill themselves.
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