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Suicide: Risk factors, Symptoms and Prevention

Suicide, risk factors and prevention in kathmandu Nepal


Every suicide is a tragedy. One life lost is one life too many.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, call a suicide prevention hotline right now!

Remember these feelings are not permanent. You might feel otherwise at the moment but that is not true. Do not do anything in impulse!

Call any number below in Kathmandu Nepal and see for yourself that people care. They are here for you.

TPO Nepal: 16600102005
CMC Nepal: 16600185080
Kosis Nepal: 16600122322
Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Service Center: 16600122223
Tribhuwan University, Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj, Psychiatry Help Line: 9841630430
Tribhuwan University, Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj, Suicide Prevention Help Line: 9840021600
Kanti Children Hospital, Child Psychiatric Help Line: 9808522410


Here’s a scenario most of us can relate to:


‘Did you hear? XX committed suicide.’
‘Really!’
‘Why?’

……….



Almost 90% of people’s initial reaction to suicide is ‘Why?’. 
‘Everything looked great! They had a great job, money, and fame. Why did they have to take their life?.’ 
‘If something was bothering them, why didn’t they tell anyone?’
‘Why didn’t they think about their family?’
‘Why suicide? There could’ve been a better option.’

And then the Why’s turns into How’s.

‘How could they do this? How could they be so self-centered? ‘
‘Everyone has a problem! Many people have it worse. How can they be so weak?’


These stigmas regarding mental health and suicide still prevail in today’s society, no matter how much we deny. It not only interferes with the viability of the deceased but also creates frustration and discouragement in those who are left behind.

Instead, let’s try asking questions like –

‘What caused them to take this decision? What we/ the people surrounding them could have done differently to stop this from happening? ‘

‘What can we do to help prevent it in the future?’


According to the WHO World Health Statistics 2019, every year about 16, 000, 000 people attempt suicide, and 800,000 people among them die, i.e. one person every 40 seconds. It is the second leading cause of death in young individuals between 10 to 34 years of age.

In Nepal alone, an estimated 6840 suicide occurs every year and the numbers are on the rise after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Let’s keep in mind that the actual figures are far more than these statistics, as more than half of the cases remain unreported due to the social taboos surrounding mental health. 


How do we recognize risk factors of suicide?

Many of us link suicide directly to mental illness. Although mental disorders are one of its contributing factors, it is not necessarily the only one. There are many biological, physical, and social factors that lead people to contemplate suicide. Some risk factors include –

  • Suicide attempts in the past.
  • Underlying Mental Disorders: Depression, Anxiety, or Bipolar Disorder, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • Abuse: Victim of Bullying, Physical or Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse.
  • Family history of suicide or suicide attempts.
  • Medical Conditions: Some Chronic diseases and conditions are linked to depression and suicidal tendencies.
  • Stressful events: Financial loss or Bankruptcy, legal problems,  failing an exam, a relationship ending, or loss of a loved one.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol and Drug abuse may lead to impulsive suicide under influence.
  • Living in a hostile environment.
  • Unsure about their sexual orientation and living in an unaccepting family or society.
  • Easy access to firearms and other lethal weapons.
  • Family and relationship conflicts.
  • Gender: Statistics show that even thorough women are more susceptible to depression and suicide attempts, more men die of suicide than women. The suicide rate of men was 3.5 times higher than that of women in 2017.


What are the warning signs of suicide? 

  1. Social Isolation: cutting off people from their lives, distancing themselves both physically and emotionally.
  2. Talking about committing suicide.
  3. Feeling worthless, agitated, lonely, and like no one would care if you’re gone.
  4. Showing self- destructive behaviors like drug overdose, alcohol abuse,  irresponsible driving, doing things that put themselves and others around them at risk.
  5. Saying goodbye or leaving goodbye notes as they’ll never see or meet again.
  6. Not caring about personal belongings with no logical context.
  7. Sudden changes in personality, going from highly cheerful to a depressive episode.
  8. Buying lethal weapons or things that can be used to take your own life.
  9. Engrossed and obsessed with death, violence, and suicide.

Some people are more reserved and introverted, and their suicide intentions are not clearly visible. They tend to share nothing so as to not burden anyone with their thoughts which makes it even more difficult to recognize the symptoms.

What to do when you’re having suicidal thoughts in Nepal?

No one is immune to these tendencies, but suicide can be prevented. 
Let alone suicide, If you are even thinking of hurting yourself, seek immediate help! 

  • Reach out to the closest people to you, tell them how you are feeling. It might be hard to talk about these things but do it anyway. Feeling connected and heard of often lessens the self-harm thoughts.
  • Call a suicide hotline! Here are the suicide hotlines for Nepal:
    • TPO Nepal: 16600102005
    • CMC Nepal: 16600185080
    • Kosis Nepal: 16600122322
    • Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Service Center: 16600122223
    • Tribhuwan University, Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj Kathmandu Nepal, Psychiatry Help Line: 9841630430
    • Tribhuwan University, Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj Kathmandu Nepal, Suicide Prevention Help Line: 9840021600
    • Kanti Children Hospital,Kathmandu Nepal. Child Psychiatric Help Line: 9808522410
  • Contact a mental health professional: a therapist, or a psychiatrist.

    Request a Neuro Psychiatrist Appointment at Clinic One Kathmandu Nepal.
  • Seek treatment! Suicidal thoughts are recurring in nature but with the right treatment and the right support, you will feel better.

Continuous support from friends and family and with proper counseling with a mental health care professional definitely help prevent suicide.

“You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you. But I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.”

somewhere from reddit – found it beautiful
By Tshichen D. Lama
15 Jun 2020


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डा. केनिसन श्रेष्ठ
मानो रोग विशेषज्ञ
क्लिनिक वान काठमाडौँ

कोरोना भाइरसको विश्वव्यापी महामारी संगै मानिसहरुमा चिन्ता तथा आत्तिने समस्या देखा पर्ने क्रम बढ्दै गईरहेको छ| …………… पुरा पड्नुहोस

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