Looking at women of India and suicide

Looking at women of India and suicide

According to a recent research, India accounts for 36.6% of global suicide deaths in women and 24.3% among men, despite accounting for only 17.8% of the global population. The suicide ratio for women in India (14.7 per 100,000) is 2.1 times higher than the global average, while for men the suicide ratio (21.2 per 100,000) is 1.4 times higher than the global average. From an academic point of view, it is interesting to note how in India, suicide ratio for women is higher than men. In practicality, it is a horrific reality our country is living in.

In 2021, according to the NCRB, there were more than 45 thousand female deaths due to suicides in India. Some of the causes for suicides in the country were due to professional problems, abuse, violence, family problems, financial loss, sense of isolation and mental disorders. The report found that Tamil Nadu (3,221) accounted for the most number of suicides among housewives, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. 50% of women suicides deaths in India were of housewives. 

Mental health has been attributed a huge share of causes for suicide. Even though women are generally more outspoken about their feelings and emotions when compared to men, they do not receive the help required to address the same. Mental illnesses left untreated can cause suicidal ideations. 

Depression or depressive episodes can cause an individual to self-harm. Women prone to depression might get triggered by situations or things in their surroundings. This can bring back their suicidal thoughts and push them to attempt suicide. 

Workplace and relationship-related stressors can cause suicidal thoughts. Women often have to balance the workplace and their personal life, delicately as society expects them to excel in both. However, those choosing to be homemakers have a different type of problem to deal with. Dissatisfaction with their life, particularly their relationship with their partner or in-laws (if they live in a joint family) and their ambitions. 

Suicide is a silent killer, as even the victims themselves might not realise their suicidal thoughts coming. However, there are signs and symptoms you can look out for – within yourself and in the people you care for. 

If they start talking about:

  • Wanting to die.
  • Great guilt or shame.
  • Being a burden to others.

If you start feeling:

  • Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live.
  • Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage.
  • Unbearable emotional or physical pain.

If there are changing behaviour, such as:

  • Making a plan or researching ways to die.
  • Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or making a will.
  • Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
  • Eating or sleeping more or less.
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often.

Some preventative measures that women may follow to take care of their mental health are:

  1. Engage in social activities, especially with other women. This can be at a gym or sporting center, cultural center or even just informally hanging out with their friends regularly.
  2. Be physically active. Any activity that engages the body and mind (along with the spirit) is best suitable for good mental health.
  3. Eating healthy and regularly having physical checkups might be beneficial. 
  4. Journal and practice writing gratitude statements.
  5. Take regular therapy or counseling to address mental illnesses or stressors. 

Things may seem dark and dismal from this article, however every problem can be addressed and tried to be solved. Hit us up at Sentier Mind if you’re looking for help or guidance. 

Written by Rima Chowdhury

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