Rashi Aditi Ghosh/Zee Research Group
It is often believed that economic instability and unemployment may push men and women towards committing suicide. The general perception, however, seems to be wrong. As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau-2012 (NCRB) report, jobless men and women are less likely to commit suicide than their salaried and self-employed counterparts.
A Zee Research Group analysis of the NCRB report reveals that the suicide rate amongst employed people is higher compared to housewives, service professionals, students, retired and unemployed persons.
While 38.7 per cent of self employed people committed suicides in 2012, 7.4 per cent unemployed people took the extreme step to end their lives in 2012. Similarly, while 12.5 per cent people in service committed suicide in 2012, the figure stands at 0.7 per cent for retired people in 2012. Private sector employees in service category and farmers within the self employed section recorded highest suicidal deaths during 2012.
As matter of fact, suicidal deaths within the service and self employment category was recorded highest within people belonging to 30-44 years of age group. This supposedly indicates higher competition in the employment sector for middle aged persons. While 14 per cent self employed people within the 30-44 years of age group committed suicide in 2012, five per cent people in service killed themselves in 2012.
Reasoning excessive pressure and competition in the job market for increasing number of suicides amongst employed people, Ripan Sippy, a clinical psychologist from Delhi said, “Office politics, hectic lifestyle, professional competitions and increasing standard of living are giving rise to social isolation amongst employed people in India. When you lack social bonds and leisure your mental imbalance forces you to kill yourself and end all the complications from your life. “
NCRB further reveals that more men in comparison to women in all the above mentioned categories have ended their lives during 2012.
Giving a scientific reason for the rising number of male suicides, Dr Sameer Malhotra, the head of mental health department at Max Hospital (Delhi) said, “Lifestyle pressures, exacerbated by financial inadequacies, force men to commit suicide.”
The disparity within men and women in suicidal deaths was found highest in self –employment category. While 50 per cent self employed men killed themselves in 2012, just 16.7 per cent self employed women killed themselves in 2012.
Reasons Dr Malhotra at Max (Delhi), “Men lack social support and thus can’t vent their feelings. It’s true that the level of depression in men may be lesser than women, but isolation and loneliness in men leads them to opt for lethal ways for a solution in comparison to women.”
However, the number of suicides in all the above mentioned categories (excluding self employed and retired ones ) have registered a fall in 2012 over the previous year.