Why do people commit suicide and how can it be prevented?

Dr. Uzma Masroor, Ph.D. , is the foremost practitioner of Clinical Psychology in Islamabad. She has contributed both academically and socially to this field of study and her services are commendable in their scope and intention. Team Social Diary sat down with her to discuss the subject of Suicide.


Every year around 800,000 people die due to suicide which means every 40 second, a person commits suicide. Depression and suicide has become a sad reality and it can affect anyone regardless of the socioeconomic status, age or gender.

There are two major reasons behind committing suicide. The first one is the inability to identify any kind of mental disorder or any psychiatric illness. Commonly, 90-95% suicides occur due to psychiatric reasons. There is an underline cause of psychiatric disorder like depression, severe anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and these are considered to be some serious illnesses. The second factor is stress. An unavoidable or unmanageable stress also becomes the reason of suicide. Sometimes in fact mostly, there is a combination of both these factors that leads towards suicide. Basically, there are some disorders that are inherent. They are inherited by the children from their parents, so the families should stay alert that if a mental illness related incident has already occurred in the past, it can be avoided in the future through proper measures and observation. But sadly, most of such illnesses are taken for granted by the family members and are even unidentified so whenever a depressive phase occurs, people end up committing suicide. However, there are some cases of attempted suicide as well. Some people attempt committing suicide in order to seek attention, although it occurs rarely but this pattern exists as well. If we talk about stress, there is some unmanaged stress in life that can either be temporary or permanent. So, when a person is unable to handle the stress, they commit suicide. Another important factor responsible for this is the communication gap between the sufferers and their families/loved ones. Sometimes in both conditions, the person is unable to communicate about the stress and their negative thoughts which eventually lead towards taking their own life.

Suicide can be prevented by general alertness and counseling in the family. Secondly, whenever there are signs of psychiatric disorders, depression or intense anxieties, they should be properly diagnosed and treated. Another prevention is communication! There are 4-5 communication forums in every individual’s life such as the immediate family, extended family, social circles, universities or the work places. These channels can be helpful in seeking help and even preventing somebody from suicidal thoughts. One can observe an unusual behavior or verbal communication of an individual going through a depressive phase as well. There should be a platform in order to report confidentially about an individual who needs emotional support and should be referred to a professional therapist because professional help is very effective.



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