A seventeen-year-old student allegedly shot himself to death in Bengaluru on Friday, September 17.
The deceased, identified as Rahul Bhandary, was a II PU student of Army School. He is the son of a retired Army havildar, Bhagat Singh.
However, the motive behind the extreme step is still a mystery.
Teen suicides are rising in India with about 28 such suicides reported every day, according to data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The NCRB data shows that 10,159 students died by suicide in 2018, an increase from 9,905 in 2017, and 9,478 in 2016.
Maharashtra had the highest number of student suicides in 2018 with 1,448, almost 4 suicides every day, followed by Tamil Nadu with 953 and Madhya Pradesh with 862.
Between 1999 and 2003, 27,990 students ended their lives; 28,913 between 2004 and 2008; and 36,913 between 2009 and 2013. The 2014-18 period saw a 26% jump from the preceding 5-year period to 46,554.
As we all know that the teen years can be extremely tough. Teenagers are caught in that gray area between childhood and adulthood.
Depression affects teenagers far more often than many of us realize. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems.
However, it is treatable and parents can help. Parents need to notice the changes in their child’s behavior.
- Irritability, anger, and agitation are the most prominent symptoms.
- You might notice that your teen shows less enthusiasm for their favorite hobbies.
- Many depressed teens run away from home or talk about running away.
- They are addicted to their smartphones.
- They may not sleep well or seem tired even if they get enough sleep.
- They may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as reckless driving, binge drinking etc
But it is not necessary for all “irritated or uninterested” teenagers to be depressed. In today’s competitive world there is pressure on teenagers to fit in socially, to perform academically, and to act responsibly, due to which, teenagers stay irritated.
However, parents assume that their child is throwing a tantrum or being disrespectful. They then yell at their kids to discipline them which makes them more depressed and their bad behavior worse.
What can parents do?
As told earlier, it is important for parents to know the warning signs so teens who might be suicidal can get the help they need.
It is important to know that you can recover and mend fences by committing to avoid yelling and intense verbal confrontation with your child.
Remember, the more teens are yelled at, the worse they behave. There are plenty of studies that suggest that these parenting actions increase the risk that the adolescent will misbehave and suffer symptoms of depression.
Parents who wish to modify their teenage children’s behavior would do better by communicating with them on an equal level, and explaining their rationale and worries to them.
For example, when your child returns home late, you will ground him/her for a few weeks which will them more angry and stressed. Do not punish them rather make them understand the consequences of their actions. Explain how worried you are about them.
The goal is to teach children to behave well, yelling or punishment just stops the bad behavior at the moment, but does not help in developing good behaviors.
They are more willing to listen to you and accept limits if they feel loved and understood. Also, catching your teens when they do something positive and praising them is a very effective way of reinforcing the desired behavior.
Lastly, it is very important to treat your teenager as a friend, talk to them, laugh, watch movies together and assure them that no matter what you are always by their side.