' The Last Resort: Why Do Youth Commit Suicide?

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The Last Resort: Why Do Youth Commit Suicide?
By Preethi Baretto (MSW), Mangalore/Doha- Qatar

June 11, 2011

Suicide means murder of self. "Suicide is associated with unfulfilled needs, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, ambivalent conflicts between survival and unbearable stress, narrowing of preventing options, a need for escape," says Edwin Shneidman. Both in developed and developing countries youth suicide rate is the highest.

Causes for sucide among youth

Arguments between parents and children

Verbal arguments or physical fights (sometimes) make the youth lose self-control and hence they surrender themselves to suicide without thinking. The reasons for these arguments may be related to studies, personal issues or any other.

Loss of parents or loved ones

Sudden loss/death of one or both parents will have traumatic impact on their children. Sudden loneliness brings darkness and lots of psychological and emotional instability to the minds of youth. Apart from parents, the loss of loved ones such as partner, friends, siblings etc also matters for the youth emotionally. Hence ending life seems better for them instead of the mental agony of living without them. 
Divorce/separation of parents

This hinders the children from the vicinity of parents. Selection between parents for stay becomes tough. In some cases when children are growing up, parents' divorce/separation gives bitter experience and makes them feel lonely, neglected. This will lead to suicide as a final choice.

Sexual harrasment and rape

At home, school, work place etc youth face sexual harassment. Today, not only girls but  boys also are harassed sexually. Parents, teachers need to be aware of such factors. Proper care, guidance at the right time can be helpful in saving them from the darkness of death.

Failure in academics

As the month of school/college results occur, it’s common to hear of suicide cases. Pressure from family or self is the main reason for this. When the student is unsuccessful, this mental tension ends up with suicide.

Increased pressure on individual

Young age is filled with desires and ambitions. Pressure can be self-motivated or from people around them. Mind even forces to commit suicide, if the pressure goes beyond limits. This force (pressure) may be in academics, sports, marriage, job, etc.


Mental or emotional type of depression makes the individual weak. If this becomes stagnant without any ventilation (speaking out), one may go for ending their life in order to end this depression.

The majority of the children have problems of depression alone or in conjunction with another depressive illness like anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, bipolar illness (manic depression), or child onset schizophrenia. Each child’s personality, biological makeup, and environment are unique, and depression and suicidal ideation among youth are complex issues involving many factors.

By recognizing and treating depression in children, we can improve the chances/ conditions of young person with depression. They can live longer, healthier, and lead a quality life.

Ill health

Long-term health problems and illness are like a daily burden for those who experience it. Some face it with stability, confidence and courage. But those who can’t say no to life.

Mental illness

Treatment and counseling are available for mental illness in all the psychiatric deparments in hospitals. Bias, stigma towards these people is also present in our society. During youth age this mental illness hinders the youth from mingling with friends, family members etc. Hence, this can be major cause for suicide.

Increased emotional instability

Having control over one’s emotions is a great blessing to an individual. Everyday life brings in lots of emotions. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to cope with them. Increased emotional instability makes life unbearable. When the precipitating factor for this emotional instability kills the individual within, each moment, one goes for killing self.  

Problems/failures in love life

Young age is filled with the fragrance of love. In a few lives this fragrance itself becomes dangerous. Death of partner, failure in love, break-ups, one-sided love, cheating etc makes the heart hopeless. Darkness around forces them to end life.


Comparison between children within family - by parents, at school by teachers for academics, sports, other activities makes the child feel humiliated. Negative ideas grow in their mind. They lose hope, faith, and confidence in self. This provokes them to commit suicide.

Discrimination and domination

Discrimination is what generally humiliates everyone. If this is found within family from parents or siblings, then life becomes miserable. Domination is followed by discrimination. It affects the mindset, emotions, education, job and even daily life. If this discrimination and domination goes without identification, it will surely affect the life of youth.


Job is what every student desires after studies. Unemployment is a common reason today for suicides among youth. Proper job brings independence to start a new life and live one’s own dream.

Rejection from loved ones

Youth generally urge for the nearness and love from parents, teachers and friends. It’s common to expect love from the one you love and care for. Rejection from loved ones like parents, partner, siblings, friends etc hurts the heart directly.

Prior attempts

Prior attempts of suicide should be considered as one of the important factors for suicide. As frustration exceeds one can’t control their inner desire of ending life.

Clues or warning signs of suicide

Sudden changes in behavior
Withdrawal from family and friends
Severe changes in eating habits
Neglecting personal appearance
Use of drugs and alcohol
Changes in mood with loneliness, isolation , withdrawal
Pre-occupation with death in the drawings, letters, scribbles
Signs of depression
Expressive feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness,
Giving away cherished possessions of self
Preparing things or giving away valuable things to others.
Disturbed sleep
Changes in facial expression
Situational clues like
Love failure

Suicide prevention strategies
Increasing public awareness about suicide as a problem through information channels like media, magazines, internet sites etc influence the attitude and stigma towards mental illness

Society has a lot of stigma and bias towards mental illness and the people who suffer with mental illness. People need to be made aware of the mental illnesses. As the body gets the illness, so also the mind too needs some treatments at times. Depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, stress related, behavior problems, people who are specially challenged, physically challenged persons, psychiatric problems with children – behavior, learning problems etc are some of the mental or psychiatric problems.

Positive thinking, approach towards these individuals is a better way to remove stigma.

Counseling - ventilation of suicide ideas, thoughts, helping youth in healthy distraction of suicide ideas and renewing hope, dreams to live life.

Crisis intervention: This involves finding solution for the problem along with the youth who has made prior suicide attempts. Positive thinking needs to be injected into them towards life.

Suicide in the family has great impact on all the family members. Due to any problem or crisis one commits suicide, but later each day it brings sadness, trauma to the family members of deceased.

Care, love and respect is what every youth expects from his/her family, friends, teachers, and society. Without being biased and without any stigma one should speak to and mingle with youth in a healthy relationship.

It’s very difficult to define or explain why someone commits suicide, but the feelings, pain of the deceased are unknown to us.

Yes, suicide is not the solution for any problem.

Let’s think and share our views here.


Preethi Baretto Archives:

Comments on this article
Nikhil, MumbaiSunday, January 20, 2013
Suicide is a problem which can be dealt with proper understanding. Life is meant for many useful work.
Comment on this message     

Marv, SBEEctTGiYOmcJoFriday, December 02, 2011
You have more useful info than the Britsih had colonies pre-WWII.
Comment on this message     

Dave, MangaloreFriday, June 17, 2011
In the past, present & in future-every minute people are ending their lives on this earth.
How can we prevent this loss to the family,society & nation?
We can establish Helplines 24x7 to councel them & encourage them to reach help. Advertise these numbers in all media free of cost.
Most drugs given to depressed people themselves lead to sucide as happened in the case of leading drug manufactring company(Glaxo,USA). The company knew about the side effect of the drug-which itself leads the patients to end their lives while taking the drug, they kept this report in dark while marketing their product-Gain was more important-than safety of it.
Strange but True- few men ended their life unable to cope with their wives distrust & suspecting their every act( a recent real life story). Even if they talk to a small girl-they suspect something is fishy. Here they too need councelling to come out of this behaviour. They threaten their husbands with Dowry Harassment Cases-while most husbands ignore, a few weak hearted took the extreme step. May God help all the people who are depressed & find no support.
Comment on this message     

Vivek Baliga, Bangalore/Abohar (PB)Thursday, June 16, 2011
As long as there is this intense competiton amoung siblings, and families becoming nuclear, the pressure is bound to compound on the youth today, lets face the truth we are all in the rat race, and just try to remember when was the last time u really did what u wanted to do, today we have become so mechanical, that when a kid cries we buy them what they like , rather than sit and spend time with them to understand why they are crying, the older genration with all due respect also had 24 hrs in the day, even we have the same, only thing is this nuclear sylos has made us get into this mess. guess one learning is that more and more people today are trying to live beyound there means with very high expectations, a excellent article from this young lady i must thank her for putting it on the forum,
Comment on this message     

Donald, Bangalore/TorontoTuesday, June 14, 2011
If parents devout minimum 3 hours per day with their sons & daughters from the age of 6 to 20 years,I have observed the children of any Indian family does not go astray,The moment the parents relax the family rules and guidance the children get the message,I have observed in North America guys who have immigrated,Their children are doing very well in studies,parents openly educate their children about Homosexuality and Lesbianism and drugs with the children and explain to them if you go away from God ! automaticaly Satan takes charge,Children of any family if properly motivated will surely co-operate with the parents.It is not sufficient if you love your children you must understand them and guide them in proper direction,Among the immigrants about 85% of their children have outshined their parents. I have observed back home when parents are busy slogging in the middle East children have fun back home.Gone are the days middle East will not be the same any more due to Arab nationalism and uprisings we lose the edge of getting good jobs over their,If our children study well they can easily shine back home and get good positions in our Indian soiety.
Comment on this message     

ashenoy, mangloorMonday, June 13, 2011
The "suicide" is the reflection of pain and suffering a victime is going through. Its a immediate solution the victim thinks to the problem one is going through. As the article mentions each case is different and each case needs a specific soultion. Some situations give no symtoms at all while others have lot of symtoms. In my view in most cases,it is the losing of self- control and self-worth both caused by others actions. The victim is just a victim. Some see it is losing and others see it as winning. The weak become the victims and the strong fight the victimisation. In our country suicides are happening a an alarming rate both among the youth and older people.
If known, early intervetion can save lives.
Important thing to understand is life should not be made difficult or copmlex to live by self or others..
Comment on this message     

martin, mangaloreMonday, June 13, 2011
i would say increasing in standard of leaving and default in the cop with change, love marriage and sex are fragile part of human sentiment so need more counselling and friendly discussion , share your feeling other its Essy to get ride of it and more over youth must understand the there path correctly. Love sex and marriage is more with family touch , its become social for youth so divorce are become common and living relation are more in practice by youth . so spicier advise do not follow other standard of living and take your best time do things , do not Rush with idea or ambitions .
Comment on this message     

Preethi Baretto, Mangalore, DohaMonday, June 13, 2011
roshan, mangalore/dubai .....

Dear Sir,
I can understand the pain u go through. Now, you need to come out of this Trauma & you should lead your normal day to day life i.e., both Personal & Working Life.

Pray for your brother that's how u can help him to be with eternal Father in Heaven.

Engage yourself in the works you like to do, prayer, games, relaxation, spend time with your loved one's, Above all, Share or Bring out all the Tension thoughts related to ur brother's death with someone who is very close & Faithful to you.
This will help you Roshan, to come out of painful Ideas, Thoughts.
God Bless You Roshan. Have a Wonderful Life Ahead.

Best Regards,
Preethi Baretto...
Comment on this message     

Lavina Picardo, katpadySunday, June 12, 2011
I totally agree with Mr.A.S.Mathew, a totally healthy person can also think about commiting suicide,people may speak very good words against it but the person who is undergoing mental trauma and abuse can only describe how the life has become for him/her.Past few months many married women commited suicide in Mumbai jumping from buildings, and that too with children.What must be such conditions where a mother has to kill her own child and commit suicide, somewhere isn't the family structure responsible for it?somewhere isn't the society responsible for it, which creates parametres for women but men are allowed to live a carefree life. For Example : When a wife is seeing that her husband is involved with someone like his own sister-in-law ,the whole society will give good lectures on tolerance and moral values and family values to a wife, then what about the husband? With lack of social support system and burden of being ostracised from the society and being gossiped about and created monster of that person, anyone can commit suicide. According to me the only option left is fight back and live a life on your own terms rather than someone who doesn't care for you.The only appropriate word is resilience from every circumstance or situation.
Comment on this message     

Preethi Baretto, Mangalore, DohaSunday, June 12, 2011
Suicide is caused by the " Possession of Evil Spirit " this is a COMPLETE WRONG THINKING.
We need to come out of this Misunderstanding and Foolish Ideas. There is a lot of stigma towards Mentally Ill people & also Towards Suicide. This need to be Stopped.

If some one says, he/she is possessed by evil spirit, and hence committed Suicide, then I say The One who says these words Will be the MAJOR & FIRST REASON for Suicide of the Innocent Lives.

Lots of Awareness Education is Needed to come out of such Stigma and Bad Thoughts.

Each person expects love, concern, someone to talk with as they are Depressed. None wants to call them, they are possessed by Evil Spirit. These kind of foolish thoughts, ideas, Words give Rise to Suicide, Stress, Tension and Negligence.

Comment on this message     

A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.Sunday, June 12, 2011
JOSSY DSOUZA: You have spoken
it very clearly. Our children are
not getting real love and compassion, but too much pressure
on them to be above all mainly
accademically and in every everything else. Another great
point you have clearly indicated
is a common reality of life. We
belittle-criticise and humiliate them in front of other people for very
small issues. Those emotional
verbal blows are painful and will create far more potent permanent emotional scars on them than physical abuse.

I was terribly bad in science
subjects and I do remember some of
my relatives humiliating me as if an idiot in
front of other students who were
good in science subjects, and I have cried secretly. Since I
had a loving mother and a small and simple trust in
God that my future is in God's
hand, I could move on erasing the
routine of pains caused by other
people who have never helped me
in any way.
Majority of the parents are
pushing their children to the
extreme without knowing the children's academic
strength. The parents must
motivate the children to accomplish
the best they could perform, but
in that pressure process of giving
the best education can sometimes overload
the children and they may get
discouraged and depressed then
instead of finding anti-depressant,
they will finish their lives at
a stroke.

Comment on this message     

Preethi, MangaloreSunday, June 12, 2011
This article touched upon a very important issue ...and I feel that when a person attempts to end his own life it is evident that he or she has no value for it...so instead of blaming them or judging them we should help them in ways that they realize that even if there are a million reasons to die..there will still be one reason good enough to live for...one just needs to trust in god..and one day time will heal the deepest wounds and then life would really turn out to be worth living!
Comment on this message     

Kenet , QatarSunday, June 12, 2011
Good article,Well done preethi.
We don’t know for sure, because when youth die by suicide they take the answers with them. But teens who attempt suicide and survive , they wanted to die to end the pain of living and often experiencing a number of stressors and feel that they do not have the strength or desire to continue living. We also believe that the majority of youth who die by suicide have a mental disorder, like depression, which is often undiagnosed, untreated or both.
Show You Care
Often, suicidal thinking comes from a wish to end deep psychological pain. Death seems like the only way out. But it isn't. Let the person know you really care. Talk about your feelings and ask about his or hers. Listen carefully to what they have to say.
You can help them asking these questions...
“I'm worried about you, about how you feel.”
”You mean a lot to me. I want to help.”
”I'm here, if you need someone to talk to.
Don't hesitate to raise the subject. Talking with young people about suicide won't put the idea in their heads. Chances are, if you've observed any of the warning signs, they're already thinking about it. Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way. Get the conversation started.

Ask the Question “Are you thinking about suicide?”
”Do you really want to die?”
“Do you want your problems to go away?” Give the final solution to end the problem.Then you can save that person from suicide.
Comment on this message     

jossy Dsouza, mangaloreSunday, June 12, 2011

Good article.Our children and young society is in great shock of their life.I think we as elders are supposed to be a role model for these ! How much love do we show them ? don't we be little them, criticize them and humiliate on small issues before others ? don't we put pressure on them to be No-1 ? or set an example of others who are smart and bright, even good looking ? Serious thought my friend. Please teach our children a way of life , not strife !you forgive others and they will learn that too. Don not treat failure as disastrous and painful.

Basically have tender heart and lots of love for them. If we continue to be what we are today no wonder our future is doom and destruction for these young ones...if you can't change them who will ? will you change your life today ? be a role model for your own kid ???choice is yours and mine...lets start...

Comment on this message     

roshan, mangalore/dubaiSaturday, June 11, 2011
if u r write this article before 2 months may be my brother would have been with me now .i miss my brother too much he is no more now .
Comment on this message     

A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Saturday, June 11, 2011
comment touching the cause of
suicide due to the mental
disorder is very informative.
"it is due to a combination of
Genetic as well as life experiences
is very accurate". The medical
profession is going to name a few
more mental diseases and the
pharmaceutical companies are going
to introduce more chemicals.

This is a real story happend very
close to my home in the U.S. The
husband in an engineer and the wife
is working on a regular job. She has no mental disorder but totally healthy, they are very active in
the local Indian church. He is
a hot tempered person, finding fault with her in everything she
does. One day, when nobody was
at home, she walked half a mile to
the nearest railway track in a forrest area, and tried to commit suicide. The train passed through the other track and the
driver saw her on the railway line,
and contacted the police. The
police came before another train
passed over her and she was saved.

A lot of suicides are taking place
even among the mentally healthy
people due to the domestic fight.
Wives are dying, also other family
members. The suicides associated
with the mental disorder is
perhaps very negligible in India,
but mainly cuased by the cruelty of the mates/parents due to so many
reasons like dowry fight, drinking
problems etc. If we feed anti-depressant to chronically
tortured wife or children, it may
not be very effective other than
making them sleepy.
Comment on this message     

geoffrey, hathillSaturday, June 11, 2011
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide is a choice and I think if we work with that with kids, we'll get somewhere. -Peter Lynch

Comment on this message     


Basically Depression, Anxiety, Bi-polar or any other mental illness runs in the family. However, it is caused due to a combination of Genetic as well as life experiences. First thing the sufferer & their care takers/family members need to understand that it is a Medical Condition like any other Chronic Physical Illness, which needs to be treated.

The person who is suffering from Psychiatric Illness have little or no control over what is happening to him. Best thing is to get treatment from a qualified Phsychiatrist sooner than later. Any other methods like counselling, excercise, Yoga, positive thinking etc...etc... are supportive and would not replace the Medical Treatment. Those can help speed up the recovery. So, please do not mistake the person who is suffering from Depression , anxiety etc as he is weak. Infact, he is facing two difficult conditions in life. 1) He is facing his illness and living with it. 2) He is tackling the difficult issues of living a normal life.

In fact, they undergo turmoil, which is better understood by the Phsychiatrist or Phschotherapist. No will power or positive thinking works better than Medication once the illnessw become Chronic and Clinical. Article is informative, however the research on the Real cause of Depression, Schizoprenia, Anxiety, Bi-polar disorder is yet to be known, 40 years of researcgh is on, still the Biological cause is not clear to the Medical World. However, Long Term treatment can make the person live Normal Life.

Comment on this message     

John DSouza, MangaloreSaturday, June 11, 2011
Lack of divine grace and possession of evil spirit is the prime cause of suicide.
Among the option of life and death it forces to choose death and darkness instead light.
The last resort is the Almighty God, the Creator.
Comment on this message     

A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.Saturday, June 11, 2011
Great article: touching all fundamental reasons behind
creating depression among the young and old, then forcing them
to commit suicide.

In Japan, the suicide rate among
the older people was very high,
but in other western countries,
the youths are committing suicide
at an alarming rate.

When more materials things are
plentiful in a society, the human
nature is go chase after them, and
the definition of life for some
people is totally based on the
tangible materials things. When
our essive material desires of life in
this world is not accomplished,
we get totally hopeless and depressed. Some of the very
wealthy people have recently
committed suicide when they lost
their wealth. For them, their
wealth was everything, and their
own life was second. JESUS SAID"
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body, what you will
put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing". Mathew 6:25.
" And JESUS said to them, " Take
heed and beware of covetousness,
for one's life does not consist in
the abundance of the things he
possesses" Luke 12:15.

In the material society, "COVETOUSNESS" play a very
key role. If we can overcome that
deadly disease, we can be very
happy. When we are happy, we
want to live longer and the spirit
of suicide will not enter in our
your life
Comment on this message     

maria fernandes, M'lore / QatarSaturday, June 11, 2011
Very good article Preethi...keep it up. youth and all parents must read and understand the feelings of their loved once and also dear young children try to read ur parents feelings towards you.
Comment on this message     

Good article, keep it up.
Suicide buzdil(coward people) log hi karthe hain!
But what to do Preeti.......
this govt is least bothered about common man and his safety, they are always busy with corruption and Kashmir issues at the cost of the rest of India's population's needs.
Comment on this message     

Kushi PR, MangaloreSaturday, June 11, 2011
Well done preethi, Good job.. "YOUTH" must read it..
Comment on this message     

Kevin Dias, Mumbai - KatapadySaturday, June 11, 2011
This is one subject of LIFE that gets me paranoid !!!
How does one think of committing such a drastic act it may be it any form , the very fact that you are thinking of ending your life given to you by God, how does one really come into that particular frame ! me personally yet cannot figure that out and it pains me very much within, when I read the local news paper or some news channel is reflecting the same on their channel.Sure if local channels , Media , School's and Collage's have a fixed program , sure this ratio will come down in years to come. This is one act of life which leaves scar's that cannot be wiped out, I pray that this ends and appeal to our dear friends to assist anyone whom they feel is facing a terrible trauma of life, so that he or she does go into a frame that all is lost and the end has come, if we can save one, imagine my friend's the joy within that we save one innocent LIFE. God Bless You All. Kevin.
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