A study found that pregnant women in India try to end their life when faced with domestic abuse, lack of financial autonomy, and societal pressure to give birth to a boy. According to studies, India reports the highest number of deaths caused by suicide in the world. The suicide rate among Indian girls and women is twice the global average. Suicide accounts for the most deaths in the 15 to 39 years age group as compared with other causes of death.
The study found that 7.6 percent of the surveyed low-income women in early pregnancy in South India were at risk of suicide. 2.4 percent of the women reported that they had suicidal plans, and 1.7 percent reported that they tried to end their life. Comparatively, 0.4 percent of the women in the United States were at risk for suicide.
According to Lakshmi Vijayakumar, a member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Network for Suicide Research and Prevention, India is losing young women in “enormous numbers”. Vijayakumar said that the nation did not have “any effective mechanism or plan or strategy to address this issue”.
Pregnant Women Suicide Rate In India
While perinatal suicide is often linked with psychiatric illnesses, Vijayakumar said that in India, factors such as early marriage, lack of financial autonomy, domestic violence, and the pressure to give birth to a son were linked to perinatal suicide.
Psychiatrist and the director of the Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy Soumitra Pathar said, “We now have systematic data to show that suicides are a significant problem in young women, especially young women who are pregnant or have just delivered a child.”
Pathar also clarified that the study and data only revealed a portion of the problem. For every person who dies by suicide, there is an estimated 4 to 20 times more people who tried to end their life.
Psychiatric illness, domestic violence, and young age are risk factors for perinatal suicide in India. According to the head of the Society of Nutrition, Education, and Health Action (SNEHA) Nayreen Daruwalla, suicide during pregnancy often falls into two categories. Married pregnant women are being pressured into having a boy and unmarried women are facing a lack of social support.
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