Suicide bigger killer than murder in Thailand

Suicide bigger killer than murder in Thailand

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, Somrak Chuwanichwong, president of the Thai Familylink Association and psychiatrist at Srithanya mental hospital, said on Wednesday.

Depressed people see suicide as a way out in addition to alcohol and drugs, 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.

Suicidal people usually turn violent when they lose 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.

The psychiatrist advised family members to persuade depressed people to love themselves and be more aware of their self-worth, and to bring them for mental 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 was the second most common cause of death in Thailand after cardiovascular disease, Dr Somrak said.

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