Student Speak

A forum for the youth to discuss issues which matter to them

Research & Editorial Team: Ms. Asha Chacko, Ms. Priyanka Gulrajani, Ms. Bhavya D’Sa – Communicative English, 2nd Year, Jyothi Nivas College , Ms. Aarti Kukreja, Communicative English– 2nd Year, Christ College

with support from: Ms. Malini Hariharan, Ms. Neha, Communicative English– 2nd Year, Christ College,

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Suicide, particularly in Bangalore, is no longer the “occasional incident”; it seems to be becoming a trend. Why is this happening? How does one recognize suicidal tendencies in people & what can a friend do to help? Students from Jyothi Nivas College & Christ College, Bangalore discuss …

Why do people kill themselves?

Most of the time people who kill themselves are very sick with depression or one of the other types of depressive illnesses. Their illness prevents them from being able to look forward to anything. Many times they don’t realize they are suffering from a treatable illness and they feel they can’t be helped. They become consumed with emotional, and many times, physical pain that becomes unbearable any longer. They don’t see any way out. They feel hopeless and helpless. They don’t want to die, but it’s the only way they feel their pain will end. It is a non-rational choice, depression is a treatable illness. Please remember – Depression, plus alcohol or drug use can be lethal. Many times people will try to alleviate the symptoms of their illness by drinking or using drugs. Alcohol and/or drugs will make the disease worse! There is an increased risk for suicide because alcohol and drugs decrease judgment and increase impulsivity.

Do people who attempt suicide do it to prove something? To show people how bad they feel and to get sympathy?

They don’t do it necessarily to prove something, but it is certainly a cry for help, which should never be ignored! This is a warning to people that something is terribly wrong. Many times people cannot express how horrible or desperate they’re feeling – they simply cannot put their pain into words. A suicide attempt must always be taken seriously. People, who have attempted suicide in the past, may be at risk for trying it again and possibly completing it, if they don’t get help for their depression.

Can a suicidal person mask their depression with happiness?

We know that many people suffering from depression can hide their feelings, appearing to be happy. But, can a person who is contemplating suicide feign happiness? Yes, they can. But, most of the time a suicidal person will give clues as to how desperate he/she is feeling. They may be subtle clues though, and that’s why knowing what to watch for is critical. A person may “hint” that he/she is thinking about suicide. For example, they may say something like, “Everyone would be better off without me.” Or, “It doesn’t matter. I won’t be around much longer anyway.” It is estimated that 80% of people who died of suicide, mentioned it to a friend or relative before dying.
The main reason people don’t talk about it is because of the stigma. People who suffer from depression are afraid that others will think they are “crazy”, which is so untrue. They simply may have depression. Society still hasn’t accepted depressive illnesses like they’ve accepted other diseases. As for suicide, it’s a topic that has a long history of being taboo – something that should just be forgotten, kind of swept under the rug. And that’s why people keep dying. Suicide is so misunderstood by most people, so the myths are perpetuated. If they knew they could have the life back that they had before the illness, they would choose life.
There is a direct link between depressive illnesses and suicide. The #1 cause of suicide is untreated depression. Depressive illnesses can distort rational thinking. They may not know they have a treatable illness or they may think they can’t be helped.
Depressive illnesses are not due to personal weakness or a character flaw, but are biological illnesses related to imbalance or disrupted brain chemistry.
A combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors all play a role in how and when a depressive illness may manifest itself. And because these are illnesses, stress doesn’t necessarily have to be present, but can trigger or exacerbate a depression. People of all ages, including infants and children (who may be born with a chemical imbalance), can suffer from depressive illnesses.


Anxiety is feeling excessive fear, nervousness or worrying that something bad might happen, even though there is no logical or specific reason to be afraid. Many times depressive illnesses and anxiety go hand in hand. Education is the key to understanding this incredible tragedy that, in many cases, might be prevented.
One does not choose death, but is instead focusses only on easing the pain or ending the pain. Pain which is usually the result of an illness – a chemical imbalance in the brain that is, many times, treatable. If a person understood that he could have the life back that he once had, before the depressive illness, he would almost certainly choose life, not death.

How would you know?

Bangalore City tops in suicide rate.

Bangalore has the highest rate of suicides among the cities in India and Karnataka holds the second position among the States, according to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
Bangalore – 17 %
Mumbai – 14 %
Chennai – 11%
Delhi – 7.5%
These cities account for nearly 50 % of the total suicides in the country.
Among the states, Kerala has the highest rate of suicide of 29%. Karnataka comes second with 21% followed by Tripura as well as West Bengal 19%.
19,000 registered attempted suicides were reported in one single year in Bangalore, which has a population of 5.8 million. Most of these attempted suicides were among the young people between the age group of 20-24 years, more among males (53%) than females(47%) and from poor middle class and nuclear families.

Common methods used among women were self-inflicted burns and self-poisoning and among men, drugs.
The major causes for suicide are chronic illness, financial debts and marital disharmony, family problems. Alcoholism is distinctly associated with suicides, especially when drinking starts at an early age. In fact, alcoholism, depression and suicide result in a vicious circle. Abuse of alcohol among men is often linked to suicides among women. Drug abusers are also more prone to suicide.