KARACHI: According to recent statistics, one person completes suicide every 40 seconds around the globe due to various factors. There are seven warning signs, which indicate whether a person is feeling suicidal.
If a person is withdrawing from friends and family, talking about feelings of hopelessness, persistently angry or sad, increasingly using drugs and alcohol, self-harming, writing or talking about death and suicide, or experiencing mental health problems, then there is a possibility that he or she might be experiencing suicidal symptoms.
The Head of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Prof Dr M Iqbal Afridi, recently expressed these views while attending as a guest speaker at a one-day seminar arranged by the Department of Psychology, University of Karachi.
The Department organized the event ‘Youth Ambassadors of Life and Hope’ to mark the World Mental Health Day. Dr Afridi, who is also a member of the Sindh Mental Health Authority, said that the objective behind holding the session was raising awareness about mental health issues among the youth and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
“Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan. 64% of our population comprises of people under the age of 30, whereas 29% of its population is between the ages of 15 to 29 years.”
He mentioned that having a larger younger demographic increases the responsibility of understanding and addressing their problems as we cannot leave them alone amidst crises.
Dr Afridi observed that mental health issues target people in their youth in contrast to other ailments that walk into their lives at later stages. Pressure from parents and society, fear of losing something valuable, or not achieving their set targets are a few main reasons behind the matter.
He said that around 95% of mental health problems are curable. He said that our family system is very strong and we should utilize it to combat depression. Additionally, we should adopt a healthier lifestyle by incorporating daily exercise and a healthy diet plan into our routine. Avoid junk food and offer prayers regularly to remain fit and healthy.
KU, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, said that socio-economic factors are amongst the primary reasons behind suicide in the country. He stressed engagement within the community to address common challenges saying that communities could play a vital role in advocating and educating people about not thinking of committing suicide.
While quoting a research finding, Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi, mentioned that suicide and divorce cases are increasing, as people are not as communicative anymore. He advised the audience that they should not feel bad about any passing remarks and try their best to enjoy their life and live happily.
Renowned Artist, Khaled Anam, shared his personal experiences with the audience and said that there might be many reasons to be suicidal, but there are also many reasons to live.
Dr Zainab Zaidi from Bahria University said that our problems build up when we only think about a particular crisis or dilemma, but as soon as we start thinking about the solution, the pressure of the issue starts reducing and we feel comfortable and relaxed.
Motivational speaker, Asad Rizvi, during his talk, shed light on his personal experience when he was about to give up on life but after a while, he realized that he was wrong and he opted to enjoy his life instead.
He pointed out that dialogue is necessary to find a solution to our problems and said that one must use his or her body’s energy to overcome obstacles rather than feeling depressed or afraid.