Bhutan, an abode of Gross National Happiness which adheres to Buddhism had transformed through the different phases of modernization embracing every trends of western culture. The global terrorism of suicide had affected millions in the world and became epidemic in a small and landlocked country of perfect bliss, which has become a concern for all the Bhutanese and nation as a whole. But the mere discussion of suicide and the means of tackling it have been generally seen as social taboo amongst most Bhutanese. It is surprising; especially when a Buddhist country-believe that a person who commits suicide will not be reborn as human being and that a person who had committed suicide in previous life takes the same fate of ending life. Suicide is one of the great, baffling phenomena of recent times. No one really knows how to fight it, or even, for that matter, what it is really. Under the Bhutanese law, committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide is not punishable. Punishment for attempted suicide is not in law on the reasoning that a person cannot be forced to enjoy the right to life to his detrimental, disadvantage or dislike. However, abetting a suicide is regarded as a crime.
According to dictionary, Suicide is an act of killing oneself intentionally. But as a matter of fact, is suicide really killing oneself? There must be something that drives the victims to kill themselves. There must be someone or something that takes the victim’s right to live. What’s that last thing you’re supposed to do when you know; you’ve nothing left to do in life? Some people think it as a crazy thing of foolishness. But, in depth, there’s something truth etched to their foolish act of suicide.
Am I overanalyzing the word suicide? I’m not propagating suicide but the fact is not the suicide but the force that drive suicide should be addressed. I know that there are many who preceded me on this topic with far greater experience and with in-depth research on suicide. I am neither an intellect nor a religious saint and I can only bring to this alarming topic my personal thoughts. I can only give a simple answer or if not, a question in itself. Suicide had become embedded in Bhutanese culture since time immortal. But, suicide in Bhutan had begun to rise, steeply and dramatically by leaps and bounds every year. The average annual growth rate of suicide in Bhutan is 9.4 %. Out of a total of 378 cases of suicide in the last five years, 254 are male and 124 are female. By age category, it is highest for youth below the age of 25 years and by occupation the highest is farmer followed by students. There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS. According to data, we should be more concerned about youths, the future of nation and farmers who live under poverty line.
To address the problem of suicide, are we going to organize anti-suicide movement? Run extensive public awareness campaign? Broadcast on television, radio and newspapers? Is the key to fighting suicide, educating people about suicide? These approach isn’t very effective. How effective it is to educate people against suicide? Because the more they are being aware of suicide, the more people, paradoxically, will want to try it. Suicides have become a contagious epidemic of self-destruction engaged in by people in the spirit of experimentation, imitation, and rebellion. These are completely a crazy action that somehow, among people, has become an important form of self-expression. Some study shows that, in some places and under some circumstances, the act of one person taking his or her own life can be contagious. Suicides lead to suicides. According to David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California at San Diego, “suicide stories are a kind of natural advertisement for a particular response to your problems.” When some people who are unhappy and unable to make up their minds because of depression, those suicide stories give permission to die- and it serve as the tipping points in suicide epidemics.
As the number of suicides has grown in the recent years; the idea had fed upon itself, infecting younger and adults, and transforming the act itself so that the unthinkable has somehow been rendered thinkable. And the idea itself acquires a certain familiarity if not fascination to young people, and the lethality of the act seems to be trivialized.
Though the common risk factors of suicide epidemics is a wider concept of perception, the major factors driving the act of suicide are mental illness, drug and alcohol consumption, previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide, terminal illness or chronic pain, unemployment, poor economy, low social support, low self esteem with feeling of hopelessness and recent loss or stressful life event. Until and unless the causes are eradicated from the life of victims, the suicide would rather increase.
But the lesson here is not that we should give up trying to fight suicide. The point is simply the way we have tended to think about the causes of suicide doesn’t make a lot of sense. What’s that invisible social trend that governs suicide? When suicide is an epidemic, how does that change the way we ought to fight the suicide? Suicide notes tend to express not depression but a kind of wounded pride and self-pity, a protest against mistreatment. To address suicide epidemic, the concern authorities, you and I can join in understanding the needs, rights, freedom of living a life that could save someone, your family, your country men.
Parents are powerfully invested in the idea that they can shape their children. And of course, this is a hard fact to believe. Is love and affection in the early years of childhood and the basics of everyday life that children need to be safe and happy enough? Because what parents need to induce is the lasting intellectuality to the personality of your child. Does the specific social environment that we create in our homes make a real difference in the way our children end up as adults?
Is it right for parents to advice not to indulge in alcoholism and substance abuse when parents themselves indulge? Parents can make a change in their children’s way of positive thinking. You and I can make a difference.
Suicide, taking your own life, is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations-and all the more tragic because suicide can be prevented. The people who are planning of suicide show warning signs before they take their own life. And it’s very important to know the early signs of suicide at the earliest. Especially, teenage suicide is a serious and growing problem. The teenage years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. Teenagers face pressures to succeed and fit in. they may struggle with self-esteem issues, self-doubt, and feeling of alienation. For some, this leads to suicide. The highest suicide rate in adults is depression that is undiagnosed and untreated. The women suicide occurs against the discrimination they face in society, inequalities they are treated and just being a women that men take advantage of their body. The major suicide warning signs are change in eating and sleeping habits, withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities, rebellious behavior, etc.
When the life deals us with the worst deals, it become hard to handle what life tosses our way. Being deserted by someone we love leave us feeling fragile, devastated, and scared to live. Some end up taking their own life. Suicide is not a final solution to the problems. What’s the use of giving oneself a death sentence when many others fear of death? Unfortunately, there isn’t ever going to be a safer form of suicide, to help save people from escaping the world of misery…is there?
We should know that life itself is sandwiched with the ingredient of happiness and pain, life is tricky and there’s great deal of murky water we need to wade through before we can start enjoying life of happily ever after ending. Finally, when we win from the battle of miserable life, we will think about the guts and the hardness we took to stop suicide, we will be amazed, we had it in us! Because you and I can make a difference!