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'Copycat Attitude' Pushes Kids to Commit Suicide

Peer influence may be driving many adolescents to commit suicide, say psychiatrists.//

Adolescents who commit suicide may be suffering from deeper psychological disorders, and therefore the immediate incident that triggers a suicide may be misleading.

Commenting on Rahul, the 11-year-old who took his life Tuesday because his mother refused to buy him a kite, Sameer Parekh, a leading psychiatrist told IANS, "Being denied a kite may have acted as a trigger but it's not the reason for committing suicide."

"The boy must have been suffering from some psychological disorder. Copycat attitude is a major reason for his extreme step," Parekh, who is also a senior consultant at Max Healthcare, said.

The national capital has already witnessed over 20 such cases this year.

"Peer suicides are definitely impacting the mind of youngsters and they are taking this shortcut to register their dissent," he said.

Parekh suggested that parents should be more vigilant. "In schools, teachers and counsellors must recognise the problem at an early stage," Parekh added.

Like Rahul, a few months ago, a teenager committed suicide when his family refused to buy him a cell phone.

According to Jitendra Nagpal, a leading psychiatrist at VIMHANS, "When the psychological problem of a youngster goes unnoticed, it leads to complexity. And in a fit of anger they take the extreme step without even knowing the consequence. Here similar cases play a vital role."

"Once some abnormality is seen in a child, parents must take him or her to an expert," Nagpal added.

For both the doctors, suicide was not just a clinical problem. The social environment plays a role in triggering it.

(Source: IANS)
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