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Kashmir Battles Alarming Increase in Suicides

d there has been an exponential increase in such numbers since the last 18 years.

"Personality disorders, insomnia, agitation and schizophrenia are the common complaints, but our main worry is the spurt in suicidal tendencies among the young patients," said a doctor at the hospital.

"Ever since the present violence broke out here, the people have been living on the very edge of life. They have to negotiate at every nook and corner.

"Life has become so uncertain and dangerous that the easy way out for some is to walk out of it," said a sociologist.But Arshad maintains that blaming violence alone would be wrong.

"Family pressures, pressures of modern life, academic pressures, like they exist everywhere else, account for attempted suicides in Kashmir also. Yes, I don't disagree that violence has contributed to the increase in such cases here," the doctor said.

That violence and an uncertain future are among the main reasons for the increase in suicides in Kashmir is also proved by the fact that these cases have involved mostly the youth here.

"Middle age suicide attempts are few and far between. It is predominantly the youth that have made attempts to end their lives. It has been mostly the youth who have been the focus of both the security forces and militant groups," said another sociologist.

Asked why the actual number of suicides was far more than the numbers registered in the police records, a senior police officer said: "Because of the religious and social stigma attached with attempted suicides, it is quite possible that families avoid registering FIRs.

The majority of 736 cases recorded with us are those where the police took cognisance of attempted suicides on their own.

"Say for instance, the local police station comes to know about a patient being admitted in the hospital for stomach wash after consuming poison.
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