Rashi Aditi Ghosh and Ankita Chakrabarty/Zee Research Group
Bollywood actor Jiah Khan’s sudden end has reinforced the growing trend among women celebrities to commit suicide due to reputation issues rather than either loss of money or failing health.
While the final word is yet not out on what led Khan to commit suicide, experts indicate social rejection and depression as one of the key factors reinforcing suicidal tendencies among women celebrities.
Women in general are said to have suicidal tendencies when they fear loss of reputation. This fact has been illustrated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in its annual crime profiling last year. About 52.2 per cent of women killed themselves in 2011 fearing loss of reputation caused by physical abuse (rape and incest), impotency, and illicit relationship etc.
Bollywood actor Jiah Khan, who worked in films like Nishabd, Ghajini and Housefull is the latest prey to the disturbing trend. She allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence on June 3, 2013.
Khan might end up being another case of anonymity in the fast moving glamour world where shelf life is getting shorter by the minute. Unable to deal with their own personal demons, several known names from the glamour world chose to end their lives seeing it as the ultimate solution to the problems they were besieged with.
South sex-siren ‘Silk Smitha’ was found dead in her home in 1996; she committed suicide by consuming poison. She was believed to be suffering from depression.
Popular fashion model Viveka Babajee, committed suicide in her Bandra flat on the night of June 25, 2010. The reasons cited for her suicide was failed relationship and financial loss.
“Young female celebrities are more vulnerable to suicidal attempts because they have a limited shelf life unlike their male counterparts. The pressure of proving their professional competency is higher, “said Ripan Sippy, clinical psychologist from Delhi.
The NCRB says that there has been a rise of 0.8 per cent suicidal cases among women in the age –group 15-29 years in 2011 over 2010. Similarly, the incidence of suicidal cases amongst women within the age –group 30-44 years has increased by 2.8 percent in 2011.
Commenting on the fear of social rejection and depression that leads one to commit suicide, Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of mental health department at Max Hospital said, “Social rejection leads to impulsive disorder, one of the major causes of suicide. A person fearing social rejection has a higher tendency to commit suicide because it is not easy for a person to cope up with the inflating level of stress alone.”
The list of celebrities having fallen victim to the syndrome is long. Former Miss India 1997, Nafisa Joseph died on July 29, 2004 by hanging herself at her Mumbai residence.
Model and television actress Kuljeet Randhawa who appeared in several serials hanged herself at her Juhu apartment on February 8, 2006. She had clearly stated that she couldn`t cope with pressures of life in her suicide note.