New Delhi. In May this year, three members of a family committed suicide because they had lost their loved ones during the corona pandemic. After the death of their father in 2021, Anshika (30) and Anku (26) found it difficult to cope with this pain along with their mother Manju Srivastava (55). A year later, he turned his house into a gas chamber and ended his life.
One of the causes of suicide in India is grief or shock caused by the sudden death of a loved one. The latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau shows that in 2020, 1452 people committed suicide due to the shock of the death of a loved one. In 2021 this number increased to 1925. This was a total of 1.2 percent of all suicides in India.
Death in a family, especially the passing of a parent, has far-reaching implications for the other members. In the absence of strong support, grieving family members can struggle financially, mentally, physically and emotionally for a long time. Speaking to News18 clinical psychologist Titli Sarkar of YourDOST said, “This person may have feelings of sadness, loneliness, guilt, rejection, shame, anger, physical health problems like loss of appetite, insomnia. These people may also develop mental conditions such as depression, stress, and suicidal behavior. At the same time, a longer form of suffering called complex suffering . . . can also go in this direction.”
For those experiencing complex grief, mourning the death of a loved one is longer and more intense. Often, these people may feel that it is not right for them to survive because someone close to them has died. According to a chapter in “Grief and mourning gone awry: pathway and course of complicated grief” published in the National Library of Medicine of the US National Institutes of Health, complicated grief is a condition that describes the circumstances of death.
Neelima Prasad, deputy director of the Roshni Counseling Center in Hyderabad, says, “After the death of a family member, survivors may feel a severe sense of guilt. They think about the things they could have done or not done to avoid death. Different people deal with grief in different ways. Although some people do not like to talk about the deceased at all, reliving memories can be a therapeutic measure for others. When we give counselling, we respect the bereaved’s wishes and ask questions about how they would like to manage their grief.”
At the same time, Dr Sahir Jamati, Consultant Psychologist and Psychiatrist at Masina Hospital, Mumbai, says, “Working through difficult times in life makes one develop different strategies. It can also help during bereavement. He added, “Perhaps , simply sharing your feelings and talking to friends or others who care can help ease the burden of loss. Tell your friends that you don’t expect advice or answers from them, but simply want to share your feelings or memories about the person you’ve lost. If there is no one to talk to, professional help should be sought.”
Neelima Prasad, deputy director of the Roshni Counseling Center in Hyderabad, says, “A person struggling with these feelings may have codependency with the deceased. However, it also depends on whether they have family or friends as a base. It is important that a person mourners can express their pain in a safe place.”
Dr. Sahir suggests that creative activities like drawing, crafting, listening or playing music, etc. they can help process excessive emotions. Having a pet, taking refuge in religion or spirituality, joining grief support groups, and taking long walks can also help cope with this type of trauma.
The impact of the death of a family member can also affect making important life decisions. So, in this situation, don’t make big life changes right away. Because a big loss already makes your life very difficult. So it’s best to keep the rest as normal as possible. Changing jobs, making big financial decisions, moving forward or making other big life decisions should be avoided at this time. For the grieving, try to be kind to yourself and slowly move on leaving your pain behind.
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Tags: Suicide Boyfriend, Life, mental health, Mental health awareness, suicide
FIRST PUBLICATION: 31 Aug 2022, 20:07 IST