Suicide bigger killer than murder in Thailand

Depression second most common cause of death in Thailand after cardiovascular disease, with 5,000 suicides a year vs. 3,400 murders, approximately.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide bigger killer than murder in Thailand

7/09/2016
Penchan Charoensuthipan

Suicidal depression has killed more people than murder in Thailand and many people who took their own lives tend to take their family members with them, according to a psychiatrist.

About 5,000 people committed suicide in the country annually and 90% of them resulted from depression while murderers took 3,000-3,800 lives yearly.

These observations were made by Dr. Somrak Chuwanichwong, president of the Thai Familylink Association and psychiatrist at Srithanya mental hospital, on Wednesday.

SUICIDE, ALCOHOL & DRUGS SEEN AS WAY OUT

Depressed people see suicide as a "way out" or escape from problems in life, in addition to alcohol and drug abuse, she said.

Suicide is happening to young people and the methods have changed from hanging and poisoning to jumping from tall buildings because of the changed urban environment, Dr Somrak said.

SOMETIMES OTHER PEOPLE ARE KILLED, ESPECIALLY FAMILY MEMBERS

Suicidal people usually turn violent when they lose their temper and might assault or kill others before taking their own lives, she said.

Some victims decided to kill their family members first because they cared for them, she said.

FAMILIES SHOULD SEEK MENTAL TREATMENT FOR LOVED ONES

The psychiatrist advised family members to persuade depressed people to love themselves and be more aware of their self-worth (self-esteem), and to bring them for mental health treatment.

"However, Thai people lack knowledge and understanding and are reluctant to see psychiatrists."

"So, the suicidal tendency rate has risen to six per 100,000 people. In some years the rate reached 7-9, which is high," Dr Somrak said.

The most vulnerable age groups are 25-49 years old for men and 30-59 for women.

More women attempted suicide than men but the latter had a higher success rate.

DEPRESSION SECOND MOST COMMON CAUSE OF DEATH IN THAILAND

Depression is the second most common cause of death in Thailand after cardiovascular disease, Dr Somrak said.

TRENDS IN SUICIDE

The prevalence of suicide varies by region in Thailand and over time, has increased during crises that the country faces. 

Suicide is most prevalent in northern Thailand and least prevalent in Southern Thailand.

Suicide has historically increased during periods of crisis such as the 2007 Asian Economic Crisis and during the years when the AIDS epidemic was cutting short many young lives in Thailand.

Thailand also lacks enough mental health professionals such as psychiatrists to adequately treat mental health conditions that can lead to suicide, such as depression

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1080329/suicide-bigger-killer-than-murder-in-thailand

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/941629-more-thais-committing-suicide-and-the-north-is-the-worst-hit/

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Writer: Jon Fernquest
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