|Vineeta Pandey. New Delhi
Family problems, illness, love affairs, bankruptcy identified as top causes
|Is the mounting burden of responsibilities driving men to the end of their tether? Numbers suggest so.
In India, one married man commits suicide every nine minutes. Of the total 1,25,017 cases of suicide in 2008, married men alone accounted for 57,639. While the number of women taking the extreme step did not lag far behind, men appeared more vulnerable to mounting social and economic pressures. In the case of women, the trigger was more emotional and personal.
The overall male-female ratio of suicide victims for the year 2008 was 64:36, according to the latest data of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). The general scene is much grimmer. Suicides in 2008 registered a decadal growth of 19.4% compared to 1998, the figures say. They also reveal a year-on-year rise of 1.9% compared to the 2007 numbers —1,22,637.
The overall increase in cases involving women was 355 in two years while it was 2,187 among men. The increase in suicide among men is six times more than that of women. “Every nine minutes a married man is committing suicide in India. Are we ignoring our men too much or burdening them with too many responsibilities?” said Virag Dhulia of the Save Family Foundation, an organisation fighting for harassed husbands.
The data, however, may not be revealing the full picture. The number of girls/women attempting suicide is much higher than that of boys/men. But the suicide rate is higher among the latter, says clinical psychologist and family therapist, Dr Shelja Sen.
“The intensity of depression among women or adolescent girls is different from boys and men. Attempting to commit suicide often provides relief from depression among females, it doesn’t happen the same way with men. So when they attempt suicide, it is more serious and harsh, and results in death,” she says.