In 2005, a man from Delhi was searching the net for ways to commit suicide. Relationship issues, false criminal cases, atrocities from police and above all a social boycott by relatives and friends had hit him hard. Moreover, separation from his two-year-old kid had made things worse. He has later founded a self-help group for men in India. This group started India’s only privately managed national helpline for men.
Depression is said to be the main cause of suicide. However, this can’t explain the phenomenon yet. Globally women are more prone to depression for various physiological reasons but men are forced into depression through various social and legal means. In 2014 approximately 90,000 males had committed suicide in India compared to 42,521 women.
The main reason for ever-increasing male suicide in India is legal extortion in matrimonial disputes and reconfirmation of male gender roles of being provider and protector through various legislations. While a society strives for gender equality these legislations reconfirm traditional gender stereotypes and not only strip men of their life’s assets but also deprive them of the love and proximity of their children. With the absence of any mechanism to address these issues, men often suffer from social alienation that leads to extreme depression followed by a sense of worthlessness and suicide. A man who sees himself as a provider and protector of others loses all meanings of his life when he can’t even protect himself.
There have been many efforts to reduce depression and suicide. Men’s groups are specifically active in this area as it is men who commit more suicide. There exist many articles from men’s websites addressing this issue and The Male Factor had been a pioneer in that. One way these campaigns are bringing results is by showing how futile and useless is suicide with examples. For examples, with different case studies, MRAs show how someone’s suicide over a family issue had in fact led to the aggravated scenario and increased trouble for his other family members.
One problem with depression is that most often we do not even know that we are depressed. American National Institute of Mental Health lists these as symptoms of depression –
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
- Decreased energy, fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
- Persistent headaches, cramps, digestive problems
It is also pertinent to note that depression needs to be treated based on the cause of occurrence and need expert care. Thanks to social media help are at hand today. Consistent efforts by people to talk about suicide and depression on social media certainly has a better prospect to reach more people and bring the required change.
A good positive and social lifestyle with positive habits and giving up all negative habits (like drinking, smoking etc.) and a simple lifestyle with good food habits are said to control depression, hypertension, and suicidal tendency. We need to understand that even though social media can create awareness, addiction to social media may be disastrous. Humans need more human interaction to fight depression instead.