As many as 28 people including 15 men, nine women, one male youth, and three girls have died by suicide in Chandigarh since the imposition of the nationwide lockdown and its subsequent unlocking.
As per police records, all the victims were below 45 years of age. 13 out of 28 were working with private companies, six were out of a job, five were home makers, one was a senior bank officer, and four were students.
Psychologists and psychiatrists claim that the current time is a challenge for everyone and especially for those suffering from mental health issues are more vulnerable. They added that people with a history of genetic depression need special attention in the current times.
“People below 45 years of age are considered to be productive. They keep responsibilities, ambitions, spirit of struggle and a sense to achieve exceptionally higher than people over 50 years of age. On a minute review of profile of all these victims, we can conclude that maximum people belonged to middle class or higher-class families. There were a few instances when victims were from poor families. The lockdown and the post lockdown circumstances are affecting the middle-class people more than any class,” said Dr Roshan Lal, an associate professor with the PU psychiatric department.
“The preliminary investigation in all of the suicides except one does not give any clue of foul play. Indeed, in one or two cases, we learnt about the financial problems due to closure of shopping malls, offices etc. But their immediate family members did not lodge any complaint,” said a police officer.
A 38-year-old man housekeeping staff member resident of Ramdarbar died by suicide days after he was asked to report to his workplace only on alternative days as most shops in the mall were shut due to the initial lockdown. He was being paid minimum wages.
“People cannot meet freely these days. Virtual methods of communications can’t take the place of face to face communication. There is a crisis all around: professionally and emotionally. People need refuge from their sufferings.
Negativity being spread through the sources of communication, media forcing people to take extreme step. Parents, guardians should take care of their wards. A challenging time lies ahead of us,” said Dr Adarsh Kohli, professor of clinical psychology at PGIMER.
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