20 June, 2021

Shadows Of The Mind

Bleak prospects, increased tensions see suicide rates climb in the Valley

Shadows Of The Mind
Dr Suhail, 28, has made two attempts on his life so far. Last May, the Srinagar-based dental surgeon consumed insecticide after a fight with his girlfriend and found himself fighting for his life in a hospital. Twenty days after his release, Suhail was again admitted to Srinagar's Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHSH) after consuming organophosphorous, another pesticide. At the hospital, he told doctors he was despondent and had lost all interest in life because "there was very little to look forward to". In the same city, a 19-year-old college girl, witness to two shootouts near her home in a short time, started getting nightmares and losing interest in studies and play. After a minor altercation with her sister, she consumed pesticide.

The decade-long insurgency in Kashmir is taking a grievous mental toll on its people. A large number of young boys and girls are taking their lives or ending up in psychiatry wards after attempting suicide. Consider this. A report by SMHSH's department of medicine says that more than 80 per cent of the 364 acute poisoning cases admitted...

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