Impact of suicide on families

We Indians know how to handle other people’s problems. We all have opinion about how cricketers should play and when they should retire. We also have opinion on what the captain should have done or shouldn’t have done.  We also have an opinion on what the police and politicians should have done for most of their actions lean towards the second!  We have an opinion about how our neighbours should or should not bring up their kids and how the lady of the house should or should not take care of her family.

I was aghast when I read many a view point criticizing a talented singer because the readers felt that her husband’s alleged suicide was due to her inability to deal with her family and termed her ‘self – centred’ and who chased after ‘ money and fame’ and it should be a lesson to the young generation who chased after success.  It hurt my sentiments for it is very unfair to blame someone else for the cowardice that you have displayed by taking away your own life, little caring for the loved ones that you were leaving behind.  Depression is a powerful reason to take one’s own life and antidepressant is also known to be a major cause for suicidal tendency.

Taking care of your loved ones is an onerous task particularly when they are ill and are not earning a living.  We are so judgemental in accusing an individual who is the sole bread winner of the family. Ego is such a powerful emotion. Not many people have the grace to accept that their partner particularly if it happens to be a ‘she’ is more capable or more ‘successful’ and expect servitude to compensate for the lack you feel in yourself. It is my considered opinion (!!!!) that a lady who used the God given talent should not be blamed because her family is weak minded.

Suicide is on a rise all over.  My heart sure goes towards the family that was victims of such an action. My friend had told me that she did not encourage an alliance for her daughter because she had heard that the boy’s mother had committed suicide. A well educated boy, with a good job is still not a good alliance because of a thoughtless action of his mother years back.  Suicidal leanings are supposed to run in the family like the heart disease, diabetes or cancer. Surprisingly, we might overlook the later three in forging a relationship but not the first.

Committing suicide seems to have become the order of the day. Right from the students to thwarted lovers, from amoral couples to debt ridden professional, all seem to take this easy step to freedom. We in our quest of developing our IQ and improving the same have forgotten to hone our EQ.  ‘Instant gratification’ syndrome has seeped in taking one’s life too.

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Family with a large support system has given way to a self- contained unit.  Earlier it was a joint family with people bustling in and around the homes that no one had the time nor the energy to feel low. Children had their cousins and many siblings to share their problems with. The adults had many more in the family and moreover they were kept busy dealing with myriad chores that a large family entails. As a fact of the matter, I feel it was also suitable for the older lot for they had their hands full too.

Today with smaller family being the norm and the middle aged being busy with earning a living children and older generation are left pretty much to themselves most of the waking hours. There is hardly any channel of communication and in lieu of ‘time’ plenty of gadgets have taken its place.

The other day when I reiterated my belief that a family that eats and prays together stays together, I could see skepticism in most faces. But the fact remains that when we spend ‘quantity time’ together we might be able to gauge the state of mind of our family members and any changes in their behaviour. It is not only parents to be blamed for this …even the ‘experienced ‘grandparents are getting addicted to the lives of the virtual characters of the soap operas.

Plenty of room and ‘me space’ seems to be the new age mantra and this trend towards freedom has impinged greatly on building rapport with other family members.

If the above trend continues, I am afraid that we might have to build facilities to house the old and feeble along with the emotionally fragile youth and middle age of our country.

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