COVID-19 Fear Leads To Increase In Suicide Cases In India

The coronavirus pandemic has created an emotional and psychological impact on each of our lives and this leads to feelings of hopelessness and thoughts about suicide.

The coronavirus pandemic has created an emotional and psychological impact on each of our lives and this leads to feelings of hopelessness and thoughts about suicide.

The incidents of suicides being committed due to the fear of being infected with the virus have highlighted the mental suffering that the pandemic has created on society.

There are several such cases that have been reported in recent times, like recently, an elderly woman allegedly committed suicide along with her two sons, after her husband succumbed to Covid-19 in Dwarka town of Gujarat on Friday, police said.

In another incident, a 38-year-old woman allegedly ended her life fearing that she might be infected with the dreaded virus. According to police, the deceased, identified as Nikita Rathod, was a resident of Kalptaru society on Morbi road in Rajkot.

During this pandemic, people are experiencing anxiety, fear, frustration, sadness, and loneliness — to the point that those feelings become constant and overwhelming. This is mainly caused due to millions have been forced into isolation and unemployment and health experts warn that anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise and that mental health could be the country’s next crisis.

Existing mental health conditions, including severe anxiety and major depression, may worsen. If you’re feeling hopeless and having thoughts about suicide, or you’re concerned about someone else, learn how to find help and restore hope.

This pandemic has been nothing less than a never-ending nightmare. With no count of lives lost what makes it worst is the dwindling healthcare system, unavailability of basic necessities like oxygen. This has raised many questions in the general population where the mere thought of survival is filled with insecurities, doubts, fear, and anger it has brought the human race to the edge where they become so vulnerable. That they succumb to the circumstances. And do not give a second thought before ending their lives.

This has increased because people are tired of struggling. This behavior also affects the others leading to depression anxiety and phobias it lowers everyone’s morale,” said Dr. Nazneen Ladak, Psychiatrist, AXIS Hospital, Mumbai.

Dr. Ladak added, “Though the feelings are justified but ending one’s life is not because the repercussions of suicide are not only traumatic to their loved ones but also to the society which anyways is struggling to make the ends meet. This is the time to support and to be there for each other and stand by the families who are struggling.”

Possible factors and predictors according to National Center for Biotechnology Information:

Social Isolation/distancing induces a lot of anxiety in many citizens of a different country. However, the most vulnerable are those with existing mental health issues like depression and older adults living in loneliness and isolation. Such people are self-judgemental, have extreme suicidal thoughts. Imposed isolation and quarantine disrupt normal social lives and created psychological fear and feeling like trapped, for an indefinite period of time.

Worldwide lockdown creating economic recession: The looming economic crisis may create panic, mass unemployment, poverty, and homelessness will possibly surge the suicide risk or drive an increase in the attempt to suicide rates in such patients. The US already claimed a vast increase in unemployment (4.6 million) during coronavirus emergency and speculated that lockdown will cause more deaths than COVID-19 itself amid the recession.

Social boycott and discrimination also added few cases to the list of COVID-19 suicides. Mamun MA et al., 2020 reported the first COVID-19 suicide case in Bangladesh, where Zahidul Islam, a 36-year-old man committed suicide due to social avoidance by the neighbors and his moral conscience to ensure not to pass on the virus to his community.

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