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Information about Suicide

Suicide comes from Latin word (Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of intentionally or deliberately terminating one's own life.

Attempted Suicide:     A conscious and voluntary act which the individual has undertaken in order to injure himself, and which the individual could not have entirely be certain of surviving, but where the injury has not led to death. An activity that involves acts of intentional self-injury and with the object of death, where the result is not death (Hammerlin and Enersvedt, 1988).
Suicidal Rate: The number of suicides registered per 100,000 people in a population over the course of one-year.

15 Suicides took place every one hour during the year 2012.
♦ More than one lakh persons (1,35,445) in the country lost their lives by committing suicide during the year 2012.
♦ It is observed that social and economic causes have led most of the males to commit suicides whereas emotional and personal causes have mainly driven females to end their lives.

‘Family problems’ (25.6%) and ’illness’ (20.8%) have accounted for 46.4% of total Suicides in country during the year 2012.

♦ The percentage of suicides due to 'ideological causes/hero worshipping' showed a higher increase of 329.3%.
♦ The overall male : female ratio of suicide victims for the year 2012 was 65:35. However, the proportion of boys : girls suicide victims (upto 14 years of age) was 49:51.
♦ Nearly 71.6% of the suicide victims were married males while 67.9% were married females.
♦ Two States and Two UTs – Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Puducherry and A & N Island– accounted for 55.9% of suicide victims in the age group 60 years and above.
♦ 70.3% of the suicide victims were married.
♦ 23.0% each of the suicide victims were primary and middle educated while 19.7% of victims of suicide were illiterate.
♦ 1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’.
♦ 38.7% of suicide victims were ‘self-employed’ while only 7.4% were ‘un-employed’.

Causes of Suicide /Reasons of Suicide

Suicide is a complex problem for which there is no one explanation. There is no single reason why a person commits suicide. Suicide results due to a complex interaction of biological, genetic, psychological, social, cultural and environmental factors. No single factor has gained acceptance as a universal cause of suicide. It is also difficult to explain why certain people take this decision while others in a similar, or even worse situation do not. However, most suicides can be prevented. Suicide is now a major public health issue in all countries. Empowering primary health care personnel in identifying, assessing, managing, and referring the suicidal persons in the community is a very important step in Suicide Prevention.

The common factors are listed below.

1.Depression however, is a common phenomenon amongst those who die by suicide

2. Suffering  -e.g. physical or emotional agony that is not correctable

3. Stress -e.g. grief after the death of a loved one

4. Crime -e.g. escaping judicial punishment and the dehumanization   and boredom of incarceration; self-punishment due to guilt.

5. Mental Illness: -e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or post traumatic stress disorder.
6. Catastrophic injury -e.g. paralysis, disfigurement, loss of limb
7. Adverse Environment --e.g. sexual abuse, domestic abuse, poverty, homelessness, bullying, social isolation, discrimination.
8. Financial Loss- e.g. loss of job/assets, debts.
9. Self Sacrifice Reasons -e.g. a soldier throwing his body on a grenade. Some does not consider this suicide because the individual does not have the goal of ending his or her life per se, but rather shielding others from harm at the possible risk of losing their own life.
10. Accidental suicide -e.g. while playing Russian roulette or Overdose.
11. Unresolved or unresolvable sexual issues. - e.g. sexism, sexual orientation Suicide is a complex problem for which there is no one explanation. There is no single reason why a person commits suicide. Suicide results due to a complex interaction of biological, genetic, psychological, social, cultural and environmental factors.

Studies from both developing and developed countries reveal two factors:

1. A majority (80 – 100%) of suicides have a diagnosable mental disorder.
2. Suicide and suicidal behavior are more frequent in psychiatric patients.
The various diagnostic groups in order of risk are:

1. Depression, Personality disorder -antisocial and border line personality with traits of impulsivity aggression and frequent mood changes or Other psychiatric disorders -
2.  Schizophrenia.
3. Alcoholism (Substance abuse in adolescents)


Verbal clues: • Indirect verbal clues:I am sick of life/I won’t be around much longer/Life is not worth it any more. Hating oneself, feeling guilty, worthless or ashamed. Direct Verbal Clues: I want to kill myself/I wish I were dead/I am going to end it all.

 Behavioral clues

1. Withdrawal
2. Previous attempts
3. Psychiatric illness
4. Alcoholism
5. Acquiring poison, pills….. Means
6. Depression, hopelessness, moodiness, Anxiety or panic, irritability, pessimism, apathy.
7. Change in eating habits / sleeping habits
8. Change in behaviour-mood, religiousness, behavior. Inability to relate to family and friends.
9. Giving away prized possessions
10. Unexplained anger, irritability
11. Drug or alcohol use
12. Suddenly becoming nice
13. Sudden emotionality
14. Suicide Notes.

 Situational clues
1. Intense emotions from the current situation
2. Losing job
3. Loss of relationship/person/pet
4. Death of spouse or best friend especially if by suicide, Divorce or Separation
5. Sudden unexpected loss
6. Anticipated loss of financial security
7. Diagnosis of a serious mental/physical illness
8. Fear of becoming a burden to others
9.  Family history of suicide


IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WITH ABOVE SYMPTOMS YOU CAN CALL US AT 040-46004600 (10:00 AM-7:00 PM MON-FRI) OR WRITE TO US AT: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or chat: OR:

The initial contact with the suicidal person is very important. Often the contact occurs in a busy clinic, home or public place where it may be difficult to have a private conversation. The first step is to find a suitable place where a quiet conversation can be had with some privacy.
The next step is allocating the time. Suicidal persons usually need more time to unburden themselves and one must be mentally prepared to give them time.
The most important task is to listen to them effectively. “To reach out and listen is itself the first major step in reducing the level of suicidal despair”.

 The aim is to bridge the gap created by mistrust, despair and loss of hope and give them the hope that things could change for the better.

1. Listen with Warmth
2. Treat with Respect
3. Empathize with emotions
4. Care with Confidence

What to do when person is in high risk?
When the person has a definite plan, has the means to do it, and plans to do it immediately.

1. Stay with the person. Never leave the person alone.
2. Gently talk to the person and remove the pills, knife, gun, insecticide etc. (Distance the means of suicide)
3. Make a contract.
4. Contact a mental health expert or doctor immediately and arrange for ambulance and hospitalization.
5. Inform the family and get their support.


Parasuicide: A non habitual act with non fatal outcome, that is deliberately initiated and performed by the individual involved in expectation of such an outcome, that causes self harm, or without intervention from others will do so, or consists of ingesting a substance in excess of its generally recognised therapeutic dosage, the outcome  being considered by the act or as instrumental in bringing about the desired changes in expectancies and/or social conditions.

Suicidal Process: The spectrum of acts from suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide through to accomplished suicide.

Suicidal ideation: Suicidal ideation is a medical term for thoughts about suicide, which may range from vague or unformed urges to meticulously detailed plans and posthumous instructions. The condition requires professional intervention to determine its extent, including the presence of a suicide plan and the patient's means to commit suicide. Severe suicidal ideation is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment