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Depression leads to increase in suicide cases in Kashmir


Srinagar, Jun 29: In a worrisome situation, there has been an abrupt increase in suicide cases in Kashmir with experts suggesting multiple factors behind this trend.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, mental health/suicide is the top reason for mortality among older adolescent girls. It was India’s tenth-biggest cause of early death in 2015 rising two positions from 12th in 2005. Kashmir has been no exception to the rise.


Official figures reveal that 272 cases of suicide were reported in 2016, which increased to 275 in 2017.

About 263 people committed suicide in 2013 in the Valley.

The real number is believed to be far higher, as a lot of suicide attempts are said to remain unreported due to the associated social stigma.

An official at SMHS Hospital told said that they receive 2-3 cases of suicide every day. “Unfortunately, incidents of suicides are refusing to show any decline, which certainly is and should be a matter of grave concern for all,” the official said insisted not to be named.

Doctors said that age group of 18-20 is most vulnerable to suicides.

While looking into few suicides, it seems that youth going through mentally issues are prone to take such extreme steps.

An accomplished footballer, Imran had a successful future waiting for him. Nobody had any clue about his troubled family life.

“His parents never got along with each other. They constantly quarreled in his presence. This always left him in a depressed mood,” a relative of Imran said

“He would often come to our place when he was low. Or, he would put on his football boots and vent out his anger on the field. He seemed mentally disturbed and then took extreme step.”

Imran’s suicide is tip of the iceberg in Kashmir, where the increased incidence of suicides, particularly among the youth, has become a serious concern for the people, particularly parents.

A doctor at SMHS hospital said, “Persistent conflict between parents can affect a child’s mental health. It hinders emotional and psychological growth of a child and can impact their ability to form future relationships.”

“In extreme cases, they may develop suicidal feelings.”

An official said, “Most of these suicides are a result of parental pressure and high expectations not matching the student’s skills or interests.”

“Various factors such academic pressures, personal relationship break-ups, pressures at work, interpersonal violence and intimate partner violence are some key reasons for depression amongst adolescents and young adults. Alcohol and drug abuse are some other factors that affect mental health well-being,” he said.

Suggesting preventative measures to stop this rise, he said, “Relations are essential vitamins for mental health. Socializing in real life with neighbours, relatives and friends has to increase.”

He stressed on having a crisis centre or suicide prevention centre and suicide prevention helpline in every region.