Live a life worth living, they say. But what if life is too painful to be living?
by Paramie Jayakody
September is suicide awareness month. What’s there to be aware, you ask? There’s plenty. Starting with the fact that people who commit suicide don’t want to die. It’s just too painful to keep on living.
What do you feel when someone says Angoda? Did you laugh? It’s not funny. It’s your laughter that people suffering hear when they go in search of help.
Sri Lanka has a history of sweeping issues under the rug. Mental health and suicide is one of them. The stigma associated with it are so great that from the 800,000+ cases of depression recorded by WHO is 2016, our government concluded that in the same year, only 100k households had people seeking treatment for any case of mental health issues. You see the gap? Yeah, it's a canyon.
We now have platforms and communities who help those suffering from diseases inside their heads. We have support groups, and professionals. But you still see the majority of the population hurtling accusations of ‘weak willed’ and ‘deal with it, it’s in your head’ and the age old ‘life is hard for everybody’. Despite the steps taken forward by some, others take several more steps backward in the process.
Several warning signs such as these should be noted:
●Changing their behavior
●Becoming less interested in personal looks and hygiene
●Changing sleep patterns
●Unable to concentrate
●Being irrational and moody
●Unable to switch off
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, please reach out:
National Mental Health Hotline - 1926
CCC Line for support - 1333
Sumithrayo support center - 0112 696 666
Shanthi Maargam therapy institute - 0112 665 126