Depression and Suicide: Blaming the Victim

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A few days ago, an eighth grader Atharva from Ludhiana attempted suicide and the news caused a stir in the city. That was when I came across some disturbing opinions of people regarding depression and suicides. These opinions showed me a perfect example of the “Blaming the Victim” mentality in our country. These opinions mainly included how suicides have become a trend, a method used by people to escape the troubles that life has put on them. Well, here’s a fact, the major cause of deaths between the age groups of 15 to 28 , is suicide. So, before you undermine this issue and name it as a ‘mere’ trend, think again.

We underestimate mental diseases; they aren’t even considered actual diseases at all. A person suffering from mental illness is not usually taken seriously and is told that he is merely in a ‘phase’ and this is the underlying problem! MENTAL ILLNESS is not a Phase; it is a problem as serious as any other physical illness. This ‘phase’ and ‘trend’ is taking lives of the youth, so the need of the hour for us all is to re-consider our opinions.

The people suffering from mental illness are often blamed for bringing pain to their friends and family. It only worsens their guilt and it is very inhuman to think that it would help their depression in any way. Rather than telling them to live for others, how about we tell them to live for themselves?

People who try to give up their lives go through a plethora of emotions including sadness, pain, guilt, anger, fear, loneliness and maybe even a few more. If they are not supported by their loved ones, their condition only worsens.

From when we were little children, we have been made to believe that our worth is decided by how well we compete and leave others behind, hence, they end up belittling themselves.

But the main thing that drives them off the edge is when they realize that they have no worth and that their existence has no relevance.

This is what we have to stop them from believing. Not just their friends or family, but we as humans should help them and make them realize how much they are loved, needed and appreciated. Medical help and counseling should be provided to them to help them out of the depression they are facing. But most importantly, we should make them realize the beauty of life and of their existence.

We hope that everyone who is suffering from any sort of mental illness will retrieve from it and those around such people are supportive. We also hope that people will start taking such illness seriously.

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Sanya Thakur (UILS, PU Campus)

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