top of page
  • Dr Neetu Singla

What are the signs of suicidal tendencies amongst senior citizens?

Every time a suicide is perpetrated, it leaves behind a story.

A story untold, with many questions unanswered, many things unseen, and a lot more. What could be

more aching is the depression, anxiety, and feeling of guilt preoccupying the minds of those left behind.

Suicide is often regarded as a way to end a miserable and painful life.

As per WHO one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. The suicide rate in India has increased from 6.2% in 2021 compared to 2020 according to data released by The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Demographics say males have outnumbered females as can be seen clearly from the ratio

72.5:27.4 .Older males aged 85 years and above are certainly at higher risk of committing suicide. There are certain risk factors involved which if identified on time can help in saving a life.

It includes

1. Depression- Long-term depression leads to a loss of interest in life. The person finds no single reason to

be happy and always remains in deep thoughts about his past. The hormonal imbalance going on in the

body and mind forces the person to end his life and worries.

2. Loneliness- As age advances, one experiences the loss of near and dear ones with time. Young kids leave

their parents alone at home to move to faraway areas and overseas for job opportunities and better future perspectives. The death of the spouse or divorce in other cases forced them to live a life of solitude with no one to take care of their health and mental well-being.

3. Chronic ailments- Diseases like Alzheimer, Dementia, Parkinson, Heart problems, Stroke, and Paralysis

commonly found in elderly people significantly increase dependency on others, reduce effectively

functioning along with shortening life expectancy

4. Post-treatment taboos- Once labeled as a depressed patient means he/she has to live with its stigma

forever. Our society rarely accepts them with open arms. This makes them stay disconnected and

isolated from the community.

5. Monetary causes- With pensions or some fixed deposits serving their needs at times becomes too

meager to meet costly treatment and prolonged hospitalization bills compelling them to end their lives.

6. Overuse of alcohol or other habit-forming substances- People with suicidal thoughts in their minds often start consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, drugs, and other narcotics. They may even order more than the required amount of sleeping pills from the pharmacy.

7. Settling bills and wills- People with such kinds of thoughts in mind are in hurry to make and clear down all the pending bills. They get the will papers ready from the lawyer to make the necessary distribution of their wealth in hurry.

8. Visiting near and dear ones- Just before their D day they make a sudden and surprise visit to all their

loved ones to bid adieu.

9.“I am going to end my life”, and “This is the last time, I am talking to you”- You may often hear such types of statements, which should raise suspicion.


Timely action is a life saved-

1. Accept depression as a curable disease and not a taboo.

2. Educate family members and health care providers to identify these warning signs.

3. Strengthen down financial and emotional needs of the elderly.

51 views0 comments


bottom of page