Few days ago, the world joined hands and hearts together to celebrate the ‘Mental Health Day’. It is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
This year was the same like all others. Or perhaps it was even worse. Numerous debates were held and candles were burnt in the remembrance of those who lost their lives by their own hands. A lot is said about how suicide can be prevented. However, still close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide is regarded as the second most leading cause of death globally.
Suicide is a fashion now.
Ever heard about the statement ‘worst is yet to come’…
The worse has indeed arrived.
It seems that in this century, unfortunately, death by committing suicide became more of a fashionable fad. The kind of death that was most talked about. Rather than concentrating on the factors that are playing the invisible role in escalating the amount of suicides our global social workers pay more attention to what should we do.
The invisible roles are unfortunately, fashionable.
How do they do it? Here’s an explanation:
Quick search on Google shows that in the last 20 years a total of 249 movies were made that had direct links to the phenomena of suicide. Rather than degrading it, the movies made suicide look more dramatic and more thrilling to the target market. Even though these movies scripts did not directly promote the concept but the characters in them did commit suicide and the people they left behind them made a hero out of them.
This not only gives an idea to a person that his suicide would be a great deal but also makes them believe that the people after them will remember and regret this forever.
This sadly somehow creates the impression of a heroic death.
Even though it is estimated and is supposed to cure people out of depression but music has the ability to aid in development of suicidal tendencies too.
It has deep effect on listener’s emotions and mind. There are songs that had such a deep impact on people that it literally drove them to long for death or in some cases commit suicide.
This ‘fashion’ if you call it was given life by a Hungarian struggling songwriter and singer named Rezsó Seress in 1932. Records state that he was 34 year old that time and he suffered a major breakup that left him torn apart. The loss of his girlfriend forced him to compose his emotions in the form of song. The song was named ‘Gloomy Sunday’ which became a massive hit.
“Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all
My heart and I have decided to end it all
Soon there’ll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know
Let them not weep, let them know that I’m glad to go
Death is no dream, for in death I’m caressing you
With the last breath of my soul, I’ll be blessing you”
Legends say that the song was so emotional that many committed suicide because they became so involved in it. The corpses found during the 1940’s were mostly having a piece of paper with the lyrics of this song written on it. Many suicide notes quoted the lyrics of this song during that era as well. Two men shot themselves during a live concert too.
After seeing the turn of events the song was banned in Hungry. In 1942, BBC permanently banned the lyrics of the song to public. The governments banned the distribution of the song as well and this song was held as the cause of death of more than hundred people.
Even though he started it but the rest followed the pursuit. The most alarming thing is that governments don’t ban them anymore and they are considered pure entertainment. Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, Evanescence and many others literally don’t talk about anything other than death in their songs and that’s the kind of catalyst that facilitates in suicide.
Most of the celebrities have sadly, committed suicide. Some of our very beloved ones left us by killing themselves. You name is: Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobin or Robin Williams.
Remember the time Heath Ledge was found dead and a fan girl poisoned herself the next day because she thought it was the ‘right thing to do’. People follow those they admire. It’s sad that their deaths are glorified later on. The quotes that indicated their suicidal instincts are shared over and over again, as if it’s a good thing.
Guess who is next? Yes, the so called beauty bloggers. In the thirst of getting the highest number of likes, trust us, these bloggers will go to any length. ‘Straight out of Grave’ or ‘Fresh Corpse’ and ‘Suicidal Virgin’ looks took over the internet last Halloween and we are expecting much more to happen this year. Everyone appreciated them.
Not only was that, the tutorials made viral too.
The people who were deep inside crushing themselves and their souls due to depression and anxiety wore this look as a shield. Rather than people coming out to help those in need, they were appreciated and were motivated to move a few steps more resulting in ultimate suicide.
Netflix and Kill
Netflix is known for selling suicides. Everything from their seasons to unlimited documentaries about near death experiences revolves around the mysteries of suicide.
Recently, they came up with ’13 reasons why’, a story of a girl named ‘Hannah Baker’ who commits suicides and leaves 13 reasons behind in the form of her recorded voice in a cassette. So what happened next?
The idea inspired young ones, mostly teens. Around 15 cases of suicides with cassettes were reported worldwide in this year. The schools and universities eventually sent out letters to parents warning them about the series and its consequences on a young vulnerable mind.
The list goes on and on…
Everything that we treat as ‘normal’ is glorifying the concept of suicide in one way or the other. ‘Social Media’ promotes suicide. Recently a man drowned his baby girl and killed himself on a Facebook live stream video features and gazillion of people watched it. Some got inspired and some went it to a state of depression. Furthermore, social media helps in spreading stories of suicides all over the net and there are even pages called ‘ways to commit painless suicide’ available on the social media. Even talking about is depressing.
Nothing is more powerful than pen. Even our ‘Literature’ is sadist in nature. The authors all over the world compose such perfect masterpieces about peacefulness of death that it automatically makes a person desire for a grave and a coffin.
Remember the time when Games were supposed to be fun? Not anymore. Research psychologist came up with the notion that people nowadays are more inclined towards doing something that they fear because it’s forbidden. The forbidden part makes it all the more desirable. Therefore, the games resulting in suicides are also in fashion. ‘Blue Whale’ became a daring thing to do. Blue Whale is a game that comes up with tasks to be done and the last task is to hang yourself by the fan until you choke to untimely death. Many school going children and even mature humans have been found playing the game and more than that have been rescued.
That’s not all.
Our concept of Cartoons and Comics has also changed. All-time favorites, Tom & Jerry sat on a railway track and waited to be crushed to death and eventually died in the end. Archie Comics also died of a painful suicide. Why?
How come no one stood against it? How come we allow our children to watch and get entertainment out of suicides?
Somehow our Art also revolves around suicides. The plays and paintings depict the utopia one encounters after leaving this distressful world. To top it all off, the most dangerous catalyst for suicidal fashion is the Society we live in. We as a society have become so accustomed to the suicidal movies, songs, you name it: that we don’t treat it as a problem anymore.
How to put a stop it?
People talk a lot about suicide prevention but no one identifies the catalysts that cause it. It’s about time we stand together and put a stop to the fashion of portraying suicides in everything that we do. ‘Suicide is a taboo that’s why people don’t talk about it’ – this statement has caused more harm than good. Talk about it. Talk about it all you want but don’t make it look desirable.
It’s the worst thing that happened to the word ‘fashion’.
On this World Mental Health Day, let’s join hands together and put a stop to this madness!