The Urgent Need to Address Suicide: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention
Suicide has become one of the alarming social problems of our time, affecting all our lives in one way or the other. It is a very common experience and everyday news in our society. Moreover, it is still considered a silent issue of discussion, with fewer or no efforts being made to prevent or stop this act.
Personal Narratives: Illuminating the Realities
Suicide is mainly the act of taking one’s own life. It is a complex topic involving copious factors and should not be defined by any single cause. Not all people who die by suicide have a mental illness, and not all people with a mental illness try to end their lives by suicide. People experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings are suffering from numerous emotional pain. Most people who died by suicide typically had overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, depression, and helplessness. Actually, suicide is not a moral weakness or a character flaw. People going through suicide feel as though their pain is never-ending and that suicide is the only way to get rid of the suffering.
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I am from Brahmanbaria, and I have heard or experienced a lot of suicidal cases. Many circumstances and factors contribute to this decision to end someone’s life. They can be Dowry, sexual abuse, depression, social pressure, mental illness, and many more reasons. I am including some incidents here-
Recently, a housewife allegedly committed suicide by setting herself afire at Sholakandi village in Brahmanbaria’s Sarail upazila. The victim was identified as Shima Rani Gope, 28, wife of Nantu Gope. Shima came to visit her father’s house in Sholakandi village a few days ago. And she set herself afire after pouring kerosene into the toilet of the house. Her charred body was recovered from the toilet after breaking open the door. The main reason behind her suicide was dowry. Her husband asked for money from her maternal house. As she was unable to ask for money and due to high depression because of her husband’s torture of her, she committed suicide.
Understanding Suicide: A Multifaceted Crisis
Another incident was when a girl who failed in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at Mayrampur village in Bancharampur upazila of Brahmanbaria recently. She appeared in the examination from Dhariarchar Haji Omar Ali High School. She failed the SSC examination; she couldn’t handle that failure. Due to social pressure and emotional overflow, she committed suicide by taking poison.
And recently, a heartbreaking suicidal incident occurred near my house. And I have experienced this visibly. A young housewife and her newborn child died after the woman reportedly jumped off a hospital building after throwing down the child at Jail Road in Brahmanbaria town. The victims were Sima Akter, wife of a Bangladeshi expatriate living abroad, Monir Miah of village Ghatiar in Sadar upazila, and his three sons. Family sources said Sima was taken to Life Care Hospital after she went into labor on October 16. She gave birth to the boy through a cesarean section on the day and was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital on Friday morning.
Sima had an argument with her mother in the morning over paying the hospital bills, said companions of other patients in the ward. When her mother went outside after the brawl, the housewife allegedly took the baby and went to the rooftop of the six-story hospital building. She then threw down the child and jumped off the rooftop herself. Both of them died on the spot. The reason behind this suicide is presumed to be anxiety and depression. Post-pregnancy depression and anxiety as she was unable to pay the bills. Also, her husband was not near her as he lives abroad. This mental stress she could not handle, and due to rage, she committed suicide with her newborn baby. This incident had a great impact on people.
Prevention as Imperative: A Call to Action
The prevention of suicide is important not only to the victim but also to the survivors. One important thing to be kept in mind when dealing with suicide is that suicidal tendencies are always higher among the friends and relatives of a suicide victim. The grief, guilt, blame, shame, and feelings of helplessness experienced by survivors are also incalculable. Therefore, whenever a person, either directly or indirectly, threatens suicide, the listener should be accepting, caring, and supportive. Suicide is a failure of the creator’s will and plan. Many people want to end their lives because they cannot think of a good and satisfying reason to live.
We should take responsibility in this to give meaning to life. Allah has created each person with a specific purpose and designed a slot in the universe for which there is no substitute. We must teach every person to have the conviction that he/she is created or chosen to achieve His will and purpose. We must give answers, help, and comfort the agonized. Love and support can only support these grieving ones who are left alone with the question: If we make it possible to discover Allah’s purpose and design for each person day by day through prayer and meditation and constant fellowship with Allah, it will make life exciting and challenging. The love for life and the sense of urgency to do what is intended would be so overwhelming that there would not be any time to think of ending life.
As humans, it is true that we all must die one day. But the way we die also matters. Allah gave us this life, just one life, to enjoy it and take proper care of it. We are going to give our own account of how we use it one final day when we stand in front of the One who gave us. We have discussed suicide in my area in this paper, and the current growth rate is rising in a drastic way. There may obviously be more of it because some even consider people taking drugs or other intoxicants as indirectly committing suicide.
Now, in conclusion, I want to say that it is time we fight against it and tell the world that suicide is not an answer to life. There might be problems and suffering in life, but we have to face it. It is just a cowardly act to escape from suffering. But, on the other hand, if we endure the sufferings of life, the reward is always greater than what we actually imagine. Therefore, it is a great challenge for us to help someone in need, console someone depressed, and comfort them.
- “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini
- “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It” by Jennifer Michael Hecht
- “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” by Andrew Solomon
- “I Was Here” by Gayle Forman