Shaming, mental agony may have taken a toll, say experts

Shaming and stress could have driven the 19-year-old pharmacy student to suicide, opined a few psychologists who spoke to The Hindu after news of the teenager’s death started circulating. Another expert, however, stated that the reasons cannot be determined without specialists having spoken to her about her state of mind. Nonetheless, they unanimously suggested that those in distressing situations need counselling by trained professionals along with unconditional support.

Jayanti Sundar Rajan, counselling psychologist at Roshni Counselling Centre, said the girl might have had an emotional breakdown after being shamed for ‘making up’ the kidnap and rape story, which ultimately made her resort to the extreme step. “In such situations, the family needs to stand by an individual and support them. People in such situations call our helpline for counselling. There have been many cases where they decided against ending their lives,” Dr Jayanti said.

A clinical psychologist who wished to remain anonymous tried to drive home the point about the support one requires in such situations by correlating it to an episode of heart attack. “If a person suffers from heart attack, do people leave him/her or do they take care to ensure the person does not suffer from another attack? So, when a person is under stress, they need support,” said the psychologist, adding that a person under stress can opt for phone counselling by trained professionals and can rest assured that their identity will be kept confidential.

“If someone shows signs of taking a drastic step, they should be taken care of. Family members can observe what they are going through by tracking their online browsing history and observing whether the person is sleeping properly or not,” the psychologist explained.

‘Need to rehabilitate’

A student counsellor and clinical psychologist, Radhika Acharya said when people think an individual who has committed a ‘mistake’ does not have a place in the society anymore, it can have dangerous consequences. “Rather than cornering them, it is important to rehabilitate such persons who have committed a mistake,” Dr Radhika opined.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:40:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/shaming-mental-agony-may-have-taken-a-toll-say-experts/article33927086.ece

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