Suicide is the process of purposely ending one’s own life. The word suicide derives from a Latin word Sue (of oneself) and Cide or Cidium (killing ). According to Shneidman :“Suicide as an intentioned death- a self inflicted death in which one makes an intentional, death, and conscious effort to end one’s life”.
Suicide is now understood as a multidimensional disorder which results from a complex interaction of biological genetic, psychological, sociological and environmental factors. According to Maggie Miller: “Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain”.
According to a research suicide rates are 50-60% higher than the official rate and this social problem is also found in Pakistan though it is an Islamic state and this extreme action is condemned in Islam and declared as “Haraam” (not all).Here are some Quranic verses and Hadith about the suicide. Quran Verse 1: “Don’t kill yourself. No doubt Allah is a merciful and anyone who does so, will be pushed in fire. And it is easy for Allah (Nisa 4:29, 4:30).Quran Verse 2: “We are property of Allah and we will return to Allah one day” (Baqra 2:156).Hadith:”Rasulullah said there was a person back in time that had painful acne and he cut his own wound whereby alot of blood spilled and he died. Allah said “Heaven is forbidden to him” (Muslim).
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, a suicide is committed every 40 seconds in the world. Additionally, there are 20 attempts for every suicide committed. Disturbingly, a majority of those attempting to kill themselves are youngsters bogged down by the pressure to succeed early in life. Suicide has become a major health problem in Pakistan.One analysis of suicide reports, based over a period of two years, showed over 300 suicidal deaths in Pakistan from 35 different cities. The findings showed that men outnumber women by 2:1 and that the majority of men who commit suicide tend to be unmarried; the trend for women, however, is the opposite. According to other reports of suicide from six cities in Pakistan, rates vary from 0.43/100,000 in Peshawar to 2.86/100,000 in Rawalpindi. Highest rates for men were 7.06/100,000 between the ages 20-40 years in Larkana, Sindh province. Most suicides occur in young people. The Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights have informed that 50% of suicides in Pakistan are done due to poverty and economic adversity.
Currently, the student of MBBS at Quaid-e-Azam Medical College (QAMC) committed suicide by throwing himself in front a train at midnight near the railway station. The student Shahnawaz of Islamabad, whose father is also a doctor, could not qualify his third year MBBS examination and failed in two papers. He was staying at the hostel of the Government Sadiq Commercial College near the railway track. At about midnight, he silently left his room, reached the railway track and threw himself before the moving train which tore his body into pieces.
To reduce the incidence of suicide in young people school- based interventions, as recommended by WHO Suicide Prevention Strategies should be initiates. These include crisis management, self-esteem enhancement, development of social skills and healthy decision making. Mortality statistics on suicides should be collected through a standard system of registration, recording and diagnosis of suicides, at all town/city, district and provincial levels.
Information obtained can be used for epidemiological-analytical, intra-country and cross national studies. A mandatory reporting of suicide mortality statistics to the WHO would improve data collection and surveillance on suicide.
In summary, the traditional low rates of suicide and the protective influence of Islam appears to have undergone a radical change in Pakistan and suicide has become a major public health problem.
There is need for collaboration between government, non-governmental organizations and public and mental health professionals to take up this challenge. Crisis intervention centres and suicide prevention telephone hotlines play an important role in helping suicidal people, as shown in neighbouring Sri Lanka. There is a need to establish such services in Pakistan.