4,000 Thais take their own lives every year, Public Health Ministry says

national February 28, 2016 01:00

By PATLADA KONTHONG
THE SUNDAY N

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BROKEN hearts and family issues were the most common reasons for Thais committing suicide, averaging around 300 a month or 4,000 cases a year, making it the 57th country with the most suicides, Public Health Ministry spokesman and psychiatrist Dr Yongyuth



Yongyuth, also chief adviser to the Mental Health Department (MHD), said the most commonly used methods were hanging (70 per cent), poisoning (20 per cent) and shooting (10 per cent). 
He said most suicides were committed by men (77 per cent) compared to women (23 per cent). 
Major contributing factors included loss of self-control following excessive drinking of alcohol; health issues such as depression or chronic illness as many people, especially the elderly, did not want to be a burden on their children; family issues such as domestic violence; disappointment in love and the feeling of being abandoned or neglected, he added.
“In Thailand, most suicide cases involved people in the working age – late 20s to 50s – who suffered from conflict in love, family issues, were overwhelmed by debt, as well as stress from work,” he said. 
Wipawan (assumed name), a 25-year-old who attempted to take her life by consuming poison, recalled that stress and disappointment from love conflict drove her to attempt suicide on an impulse. She felt she had no other way out. “I was fighting with my boyfriend so I had this thought that I didn’t want to live anymore. It felt like I was at a dead-end so I drank toilet detergent. I was sent to hospital and the doctor saved me. 
“It was very painful afterwards; I couldn’t eat or even swallow my saliva and I felt like ‘being in hell while alive’. I was hospitalised for more than three weeks,” she recalled.