Reasons behind suicide
Although the consequences of both murder and suicide are identical, that is, death, there is a considerable difference in meaning between the two words. When everyone is terrified of the deaths caused by Cavid-19, we rarely think about injuries, murders, road accidents or suicidal deaths.
The suicide of the Jocasta character in the famous Greek tragedy "Oedipus Rex" written by Sophocles in 441 BC came to my mind as I use to teach literature. Later, in the Elizabethan era (1556-1603), the playwright William Shakespeare also portrayed suicide scenes in many of his plays, keeping in view the needs of the audience in the light of the social realities of the time.
In a word, suicide is the name of deliberately ending one's life; not only from a religious point of view, but also under the customary law of our country, suicide is considered as a criminal offense. According to Section 309 of the Penal Code of Bangladesh, a person who has attempted suicide but has not died shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine or with both. A person who incites suicide is liable to imprisonment under any section of section 307 of the same Penal Code for any term up to ten years including fine.
The incidence of suicide in our country was not limited to any specific time zone. This phenomenon always exists. Suicide of 6 students after last SSC exam results, Indian movie star Sushant Singh Rajput (whose influence has affected our country), wife of a policeman in Adabar in Dhaka, policeman in Bhola, a college student named Afsana Mimi in Chandpur, a housewife named Swapna Rani in Gaibandha, a school going student in Fulbaria Upazila, the recent tragic suicide of a teacher at a private university in Dhaka and a student at Government Edward College has doubled our heartache. There are also reports of more suicides, all of which cannot be summed up in one article.
Of course, all of these incidents are initially thought to be suicides, but not all of them can be called suicides as some of them are still under trial in courts.
According to the World Health Organization (2019), the world is witnessing 1 suicide every 40 seconds. And 79% of these deaths are happening in low and lower middle income countries like Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Maryland-based research institute in the United States According to NCBI sources, an average of ten thousand people commit suicide in Bangladesh every year. Our Suhrawardy Medical College's information in this regard (published in the 2010 report) also matches.
To theoretically analyze the incidence of suicides at an undesirable rate, I can mention a book named "Suicide" written by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim. In his texts, he blames his disengagement and socialization from the person's social interactions as well as the person's mind or emotions as one of the reasons for suicide. The explanation of this theory is that the more a person ensures his participation in social processes or activities, the less likely he is to commit suicide.
Psychoanalytic analyst and eminent neuroscientist Sigmund Freud blamed the negative aspects of the three elements (id, ego and superego) of human personality for its incoherence. By here is meant the will, the direction and the conscience of the individual, respectively. The imbalance of the three elements makes the person uncontrollable and motivates him to take any accidental action including murder or suicide.
Exactly why a person chooses to commit suicide is difficult to find out after death if his or her suicide note is not found. However, there are some common factors behind choosing suicide. (1) Mental illness and imbalance and the extreme frustration caused by it, (2) marital discord, (3) dowry pressure, (4) long-standing misunderstandings or quarrels with family members or friends or loved ones, (5) excessive emotional stress, (6) forced physical rape or rape, (7) physical or mental stress by others in any work, (8) losing a job or not getting a job, (9) extreme financial deprivation, (10) intersection or failure caused by love, (11) failure in examinations, (12) love affair manifested in society, (13) suddenly losing social status, (14) property damage, (15) to be utterly neglected in society for any reason, (16) arrested or convicted of a crime without guilt, (17) Suffering from chronic physical complications, (18) feeling the burden of society, etc.
Several of the above reasons are also responsible for suicide in our country. In the analysis, the incidence of suicide among women and adolescents is more noticeable in this country. Again, the origin of these incidents is mostly due to frustration and lack of something. Most suicides in this country are caused by poisoning, a rope around the neck, being crushed on a train, drowning, jumping from a high-rise building or pouring kerosene and light the fire.
Prolonged marital strife between husband and wife, failure in public examinations and failure in love centered suicide are more visible in our country. In our country, there are many instances of people choosing the path of suicide without getting the desired object or environment after marriage due to false temptation. Many people are choosing this path as a wrong solution to free themselves from unemployment. The recent suicide of a former student of Edward College in Pabna is a prime example.
Many women who have been raped or sexually harassed commit suicide for fear of social stigma. Meanwhile, we fear that a new factor will be added to the society affected by the slap in the face of the novel Corona. People are losing their jobs from many non-governmental organizations and moving to villages. It is also a matter of wondering how they will start their careers in the rural environment in the changed situation it is also important to note that they do not have to choose that path out of confusion.
Individuals, society and the state have responsibility to prevent suicide. Suicidal ideation can be observed in the behavior of many before suicide occurs. Many people also express reluctance towards life through conversation or social media. If this is the case, we should not neglect the matter and come forward to relieve his or her suffering with a look of sympathy towards him. When someone is suffering from depression, the importance of life can be explained to them without giving any consideration to the mental patient. A person who has already taken the advice of a psychiatrist should be emotionally sympathetic to him.
People can be diverted from the path of suicide by describing the negative aspects of suicide and its tragic consequences. If the condition does not improve, a psychiatrist should be consulted. Suicide equipment such as poison, rope, knife or other weapon should be kept in a safe place avoiding the eyes of the person prone to suicide. If a family member, relative or friend notices a sudden change in behavior, eating habits or sleep, he or she should be given the opportunity to express his feelings with the company.
It is a matter of regret that we take into account one's case in the period after one's mental disability is proved. We do not review or consider the minor symptoms of his or her behavior earlier.
Educational institutions need to have at least one specialist in psychiatry or psychology. We have to remember that it is our responsibility to keep track of the person closest to us. The responsibility of the teachers in society is more because the students at one stage of the age give more importance on the advice of the teachers than the parents or guardians. And so it is advisable for the teacher community to come forward to increase friendly communication outside the classroom without limiting the student-teacher relationship within the four walls. And even before the results of various public examinations, the mutual friendly relations of the family members with the examinees need to be further strengthened.
Just as we don't want to see a parent's lap empty because of suicide, we neither want to see a child losing a parent for the same reason. So, no more murder or suicide; let humanity wake up.
Badrul Huda Sohel is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Ishakha International University