Why LIVE stream suicides and die? Why not talk?

 Mumbai
Why LIVE stream suicides and die? Why not talk?

The Mumbai police have taken Arjun Bharadwaj's last words “See you on the other side” seriously. The 24-year-old youth jumped off the 19th floor of Bandra's Taj Lands End and ended his life on Monday evening.

The city police launched a social media campaign last night #WeAreListening to help city youth counter depression. 



Actions of the Bengaluru youth, who was studying in Vile Parle's NM college, sent shivers down Mumbai's spine by its unapologetic tone towards death. It also brought the unspoken word 'depression' back into the discussion. The imagery of the youth shooting a 1.44-minute video detailing his death has been seared into the city's mind, already disturbed by an increase in the numbers of drug and alcohol abuse and related depression. City psychiatrists peg the number of those depressed in the country at over five crores.

Arjun Bharadwaj, however, is not the first case, in which youngsters have live streamed their suicide.

This makes us think if the thought of committing Suicide is very common and easy these days? Is it easy for youngsters to lose interest in life? Have they overcome the fear of death?

In the recent past, i.e. on 23 December 2016, a 23-year-old girl from Moradabad uploaded a live video where she was seen crying and talking about society’s outlook towards women - which has been questioned by many others too. In the video, one can see the dupatta tied to the fan and also her blood flowing through her wrist.

Link: First of Its Kind case: Delhi girl tried to commit live suicide on Facebook

Yet another video which had gone viral was of a 12-year-old YouTuber in the US who live streamed her suicide on FB. This 40-minute video was chilling and disturbing.

MumbaiLive got in touch with one of the eminent psychiatrists from the city, Dr Sagar Mundada, to understand the thoughts and behaviour. Here's what he had to say about the five signs of depression one should watch out for in order to deal with this unspoken, unsung disease that stalks silently among us.

Why are youngsters increasingly resorting to social media while dealing with death?

Social media has become an integral part of their lives and they grow up with it. They think that it is very crucial to share their lives with their friends. They get so engrossed in their virtual lives that they become isolated in their real lives. This affects their personal relationships which lead them towards alcohol or drugs.

Do alcohol or drugs cause depression or is it the other way round?

It is actually both ways. In some cases, excessive alcohol use leads to chemical changes in the brain which makes a person want to end one's life. And in some cases, it is the other way around. When any person slips into depression, he starts consuming alcohol and drugs.

Five symptoms of depression one should pay attention to?

Here's what you can do.

  1. Sleep patterns change. A depressed person finds difficult to sleep, doesn't feel fresh after waking up.
  2. They don’t feel happy at any point of time
  3. They stop enjoying the things they loved doing the most
  4. Depressed people get tired easily
  5. They feel that they are worthless and hopeless

Are cases of depression increasing?

Yes, they are increasing. If we go with the WHO report, around 30 crores people are suffering from depression. If we talk about India, tentatively 5-6 crore people are suffering from depression. And this has increased in the last 25-30 years.

Is it treatable?

Yes, it is treatable. It is just that people should come ahead and should speak about it. Sadly, when it comes to mental illness, we don't talk about it as society considers as a taboo. Also, when one is battling with depression, he/she thinks that it is treatable with counselling or positive thinking. Yes, it helps but one needs to take medications as well. Many people are coming out but they ask for counselling. They don't understand that medications help people to come out of depression as they work on the chemical changes that take place in the brain. There’s one more thing, medications work from person to person. Important is he/she should be ready for all the possible medications.

These cases of LIVE suicide are disturbing and sure raise questions on if teenagers are taking social media seriously more than life. Well, if you're wondering how to help the near and dear ones, then do NOT hesitate. Talk about the daily life as much as you can.

And for the ones who are subject to deep thoughts, all we can say is "The key to happiness is letting each situation be what it is instead of thinking what it should be." Please do not feel left alone. Your loved ones are always around you to hold hands and share.

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