Nepal | July 12, 2020

Depression leading to rise in suicide cases

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Kathmandu, September 9

Udaya Bahadur Chauhan, 45, committed suicide by jumping into the Bagmati River at Gokarna at about 4:00pm yesterday.

According to Inspector Bhupendra Giri, Chauhan from Ilam had been living with his family in Jorpati area. He was habituated to alcohol.

Police said he was rushed to hospital after being fished out of the river, but was pronounced dead by the doctors. Family members said he had attempted suicide many times earlier.

Suicide cases are rising in the country. According to Nepal Police, 15 people commit suicide every day in the country. People attempting suicide belong to all age groups. In the fiscal 2017/18, 2,854 males, 2,242 females and 240 children committed suicide. Likewise, 5,131 people committed suicide in the fiscal 2016/17, 4,705 in the fiscal 2015/16 and 3974 in the fiscal 2016/17.

According to World Health Organisation, 800,000 people commit suicide in the world every year. Every three seconds, a person attempts suicide and every 40 seconds a person dies of suicide. Eighty per cent of people who committed suicide suffered from depression.

“Suicide rates have gone up with the increase in the number of people suffering from mental health issues,” said Gopal Dhakal, a psychologist. Dhakal said depression is the leading cause of suicide.

“There is cut-throat competition in every sector and people are running after material gains. Not all people succeed and those who fail become victims of depression and other mental issues,” he added.

According to Mita Rana, clinical psychologist and associate professor at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, mental illness is the most common reason for people to commit suicide.  Mental stress, severe health problems and financial problems also lead people to commit suicide. “Lack of awareness of mental health among people is leading many people to depression. Psychiatric care is rarely sought for people suffering from mental disorders. Many people suffer from depression as a result. If medical or psychiatric help is not sought immediately, such people may develop the tendency to commit suicide.”

She added that people should openly talk about mental health issues so that timely intervention could be taken. Family members can play a key role in preventing suicide.

A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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