“Social integration is the key to avert depression and bring down cases of suicide. As a caring society, we must make sure that no social stigma is attached to persons with mental illness. The family and friends can play a crucial role in positively dealing with a person suffering from depression or other mental ailments,” said Dr Rajesh Sagar, Professor of Psychiatry at AIIMS.
The spurt in suicide incidents at AIIMS in the past two months has also become a cause for concern not just for the AIIMS administration but also for the Health Ministry. In most of the suicide cases AIIMS had seen in the last two months, depression was the main cause.
At least six persons, including three doctors, have ended their life either in the hospital premises or at their hostel or home in Delhi.
The most recent case was reported from south Delhi, where a 40-year-old doctor posted in the Paediatrics Department was found hanging at his residence on August 14. Identified as Dr. Mohit Singhla, he left a suicide note in which he did not blame anyone for his death but said “it is not necessary to live 60 or 70 years of life”, indicating he suffered from depression. He resided alone in his rented accommodation for the past many years.
So can early diagnosis of the mental ailment help the person to cope with stress and depression?
“Yes, early diagnosis of the problem and the treatment thereafter can certainly help the patients recover effectively. Most patients discontinue the treatment which often results in deteriorating condition. Loneliness is also one of the major causes for a person to fall in depression,” Sagar said.
- On July 10, a 25-year-old junior doctor at AIIMS committed suicide by jumping off the 10th floor of the hospital building. According to sources, the doctor was suffering from depression.
- On August 10, a second-year medical student committed suicide by jumped off the roof of his hostel inside the AIIMS campus.
- On June 5, a 22-year-old man was found hanging from the railing of the second-floor staircase at AIIMS. He too was suspected to be suffering from depression.
- On July 6, a 37-year-old journalist, who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS Delhi, had jumped off the fourth floor of the hospital.
- On July 17, a 32-year-old man was found dead in the bathroom of the hospital’s emergency wing. A resident of Satna in Madhya Pradesh, he had come to the hospital for a follow-up on his intestinal surgery conducted last year.
Close to 8,00,000 people commit suicide every year around the world. For each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies, said Sagar, saying suicides are preventable and much can be done at the individual, community and national level to prevent them.