Suicide rates are high in India’s young people
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India has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, especially in the 15-29 age group. Latest government figures on causes of suicide reveal that over 12% of suicides were directly related to matters of the heart – marriage, divorce, affair, love affair, suspected/illicit relations, etc.
It is important to talk about the issue – taking into account its seriousness – given how quickly a broken heart can descend into depression and even make someone contemplate suicide. If you are feeling low on morale and self-esteem because someone you cared for did not reciprocate those feelings, or took their love away, then read on to find some answers and hopefully light at the end of the tunnel.
Related reading: 8 ways to cope with unrequited love
Am I not good enough?
This is the first question that will come to haunt you and the hardest to overcome. Rejection makes one question their self worth, because we are taught to value what others think of us over what we think of ourselves. Mental health therapist Gopa Khan suggests surrounding oneself with family and friends who will validate you and tell you that you are worthy. If you generally suffer from low self-esteem or feel you are incomplete without a significant other, focus on other aspects of your life that are going well – good friends, supportive family, your job, or even things we take for granted like health. The only one defining your worth should be you, not the presence or absence of another person.
The only one defining your worth should be you, not the presence or absence of another person.
If someone has not accepted you, it just means they may be looking for something else, not that you aren’t worthy or good enough as you are.
What are the warning signs?
So you’ve faced rejection, or know someone close who has. It’s not necessary that you, or they, show their sadness to the world. But it’s crucial to see the warning signs and act. Your joy, and more importantly your life, is not over because one person is not in it. Khan summarises a few of those red flags – constant crying, alone if not in front of everyone else; not sleeping or eating; inability to concentrate on work or daily activities; talking, or even joking about killing oneself. None of these should be taken lightly. If you see a friend who has recently been out of luck in love, then take them to a therapist and rally their friends and family together, even go for a 24-hour suicide watch.
If you notice any of these, then share it with at least one person you trust. Know that one person not valuing you does not mean you punish others who do, by doing something drastic.
Know that one person not valuing you does not mean you punish others who do, by doing something drastic.
Confide in a friend or a family member. Tell them that you are depressed and need help. There is no shame in asking for help. Life can be too much to handle alone sometimes; find someone to share the burden with. If you feel there is no one you trust or want to share it with, then turn to the one person you can always count on – yourself. Seek professional help before it’s too late. Khan also strongly recommends getting on anti-depressants, as prescribed by the doctor, to nip the problem in the bud.
How to find meaning in life again?
A relationship adds meaning to life, gives it purpose. But that does not mean that life is meaningless without it. Find your single friends and hang out with them to know a life beyond dating or marriage. Pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to learn – be it music, dancing, cooking, or anything else. It will also be reason to leave the house and meet new people, even if that’s the last thing you want. You need to ask yourself, is this person who left you, worth any more of your tears and time. Because all those hours spent crying and sulking are never coming back. Instead of looking at photos and videos of them, find inspirational stories online to motivate you. Or try the best therapy, helping another being.
Kshitij, left by a girl he had loved for half a decade, remembered sinking into the bottomless pool of depression and even attempting suicide. “They were horrible days. I remember waking up at the hospital to the crying face of my mother and realising – nothing is worth causing her so much pain. I joined a local animal shelter as a volunteer and would go there every evening after work. Not only did it completely take my mind off my pain and troubles, but it gave me renewed purpose. I was doing something, being useful, making a difference. It may seem that I saved those animals, but in fact, they saved me.”
Related reading: Why do some people take breakups harder than others?
Can one ever be prepared for this?
Life’s brutal shocks are mostly just that – shocks. The come out of the blue, with no warning. That’s also what makes one so vulnerable to them because we are never taught to have our defences ready. So following the mantra – hope for the best but be prepared for the worst – it is important to keep oneself emotionally resilient. Khan suggests that the best is to get into a relationship only when one is secure within oneself. It is crucial to “Want” a relationship as opposed to “Need” a relationship. People who are needy are more likely to get into disastrous relationships.
And no matter how much you are in love, define your self worth by who you are, not who you are with. Have a support system beyond your romantic partner, it is as important to build those relationships as well. If you begin by loving yourself first, then the lack of someone else loving you, seems only a different way to live life, not the end of it.