Letter- If you are a parent of young kids, you should be having sleepless nights because a new society menace lurks to snuff out their lives and that is teenage suicide.

And I reiterate that nobody’s children are immune from this. 

The increase in teenage suicides in the Indian community should sound alarm bells of a breakdown somewhere in the societal hierarchy of young lives. 

Parents, educational gurus, social workers and religious prophets should all be asking: where have we gone wrong?

It is a very sensitive and delicate issue that many wish to postpone for another day until it’s too late and it happens to you. 

Then buzzing hornets of questions begin to swarm in your mind.

You look for early signs and psychological markers, the repeated catechism but there are none! In South Africa an average of 23 people commit suicide every day with about 460 attempted suicides in the same time frame. 

Depression is thought to be the main cause.

Globally, every 40 seconds someone dies of suicide. 

The common methods being by hanging or shooting (South African statistics from the SA Depression Survey and global statistics from WHO).

When an all-consuming dream fills the human mind with an all-consuming desire, only to be followed by the harsh reality that the entire concept is impossible, then the emotional spectrum moves from an all-time high to an all-time low. 

Overnight, excitement and peak enthusiasm give way to severe discouragement and depression. 

Sadly, not all can survive the painful sting of insulting disappointments, brutal rejection and dashed hopes. 

For the victims, how their synapses and dendrites connect in the final act of liberation, only God knows. 

When there is a suicide, a fog falls over the affected family’s lives. The contrast between one’s life before that day and after is so stark that it seems like two different lives.

Suicide marks you in a way that no other tragedy does. 

And the worst part of the suffering is that everyone wants to speculate and discuss it. 

One will be amazed that at funerals, gossip mongers thrive and postulate all kinds of conjecture and innuendo regarding the untimely death.

There’s blame for the dead who chose to throw away something others desperately cling to. 

Whatever the situation, suicide cuts to the core of humanity and is a premeditated act for which science and medicine has no known cure. 

This is a challenge for experts in behaviour modification, perhaps some form of trans-humanistic neuro-pathology.

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