Increasing trend of suicide: Psychological research of AIIMS

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Increasing trend of suicide: Psychological research of AIIMS

Monday, 29 May 2023 | Staff Reporter | BHOPAL

A groundbreaking psychological autopsy research study conducted by a team of esteemed doctors from the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at AIIMS Bhopal has shed light on alarming trends in suicide cases. The study aimed to analyse the psychological factors associated with suicidal deaths and provide valuable insights into preventing such tragedies in the future.

The research team, consisting of Dr Divya Bhushan, Dr Jayanthi Yadav, Dr Abhijit Ramdas Rozatkar, Dr Sangita Moirangthem, and Dr Arneet Arora. Under the guidance of Psychiatrist Dr Rozatkar a structured, self-designed, close-ended questionnaire formed to gather information from close relatives of the deceased of Suicidal deaths.

The study received funding from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as part of Dr Divya Bhushan's MD/MS thesis support. The research process was conducted under the expert guidance of Prof (Dr) Jayanthi Yadav.

The findings of the study, recently published in the prestigious PubMed-indexed Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, unveiled several distressing patterns. Among the most significant results, it was discovered that a staggering 79% of the suicidal cases belonged to the age group of 19 to 40 years. This indicates that young adults are particularly vulnerable to suicide and highlights the urgent need for targeted interventions and support systems for this demographic.

Furthermore, the study revealed that 77% of the cases exhibited one or more depressive symptoms. This finding underscores the critical importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues, such as depression, to prevent individuals from reaching the point of contemplating suicide. It emphasizes the need for increased access to mental health resources and early intervention programs.

The research also brought to light the prevalence of substance abuse in suicide cases, with a striking 51% of individuals having a history of substance abuse. Additionally, the study indicated that 37% of the cases had a history of previous suicidal behavior. This finding underscores the importance of identifying individuals at risk of repeated attempts and implementing appropriate preventive measures, including targeted counseling and psychiatric intervention.

Prof (Dr) Arneet Arora, Head of the Department said the psychological autopsy research conducted has provided valuable insights into the complex factors associated with suicide. By uncovering the high prevalence of depressive symptoms, substance abuse, and previous suicidal behavior, this study serves as a crucial stepping stone towards addressing these pressing issues. It is hoped that the research will pave the way for targeted interventions, better mental health resources, and ultimately, a decrease in suicide rates among vulnerable populations.

Professor (Dr) Ajai Singh, the Executive Director of AIIMS Bhopal, congratulated the entire team of researchers for their significant contributions to the field of suicide prevention. He commended Dr Divya Bhushan for her exceptional leadership and expressed hope that the study's findings would inform the development of evidence-based interventions and policies aimed at reducing the incidence of suicide.

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