A 25-year-old doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences committed suicide Friday evening by jumping off the 10th floor of the doctors’ hostel at the premier institute.
Dr Anurag Kumar, a junior resident at the department of psychiatry, jumped to his death around 5 pm, said DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur. Police said no suicide note has been found so far.
He died during treatment at the hospital. “Inquest proceedings have been initiated. His mobile phone has been recovered from the tenth floor,” said Thakur.
A doctor from the department said that on Friday, Kumar was on duty till late afternoon, after which he returned to the hostel. “His room was on the third floor and his mother was staying with him. We are all aggrieved by this,” said the doctor.
A senior doctor in the department said Kumar had been seeking treatment for depression. “He was very vocal about mental health and had documented his journey in a blog last month,” said the senior doctor.
Kumar’s blog post, dated June 21, is titled ‘A psychiatry trainee’s struggle with depression’. In the piece, he wrote about how he was diagnosed with a “severe depressive episode” and had felt “empty and low” despite getting a good rank in the AIIMS postgraduate entrance exam. He also chronicled his struggle with “suicidal thoughts”, described his mother as his “strongest pillar of support”, and wrote about how depression gave him an “opportunity to teach students”.
“I used to give an analogy of hypertension to explain depression; both can be reduced by exercise, meditation etc, but if it isn’t controlled you need medicines,” he wrote.
Dr Adarsh of AIIMS resident doctors’ association said, “Dr Anurag was a brilliant mind who excelled both in academics and co-curricular activities. He was successful but still felt low and lethargic and had a deteriorating mood… Social stigma related to mental health must be discouraged in this modern world, since it’s treatable and the associated grievous consequences are preventable.”
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted, “Shocked & distressed to hear of the painful death of young & most brilliant Dr Anurag Kumar, junior resident at AIIMS Delhi. He was under treatment for severe depression for sometime now and took away his own life. My heart bleeds for his family. Condolences to them and his colleagues.” The Minister also tweeted Kumar’s blog with the caption, “Swept by tears as I read young Dr Anurag Kumar’s blog sent to me by a doctor friend. I feel very strongly. This self-annihilation must be stopped at any cost! Rest in peace my son!”