According to Dr. Ong Say How, a Singapore psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health, multiple stress factors can trigger a person to commit suicide. The final decision to kill oneself doesn’t usually occur because of a single stressor, but is typically the result of many different events or pressures in the person’s life.

Suicide Rates in Singapore

In 2015 and early 2016, Singapore was rocked by an unusual number of teen suicides. Twenty-seven teens killed themselves in 2015, and they were all between the ages of 10 and 19. Between April 2015 and March 2016, there were 6,455 suicide-related calls to the Samaritans of Singapore hotline. A total of 409 people of all ages committed suicide.

The Role of School Stress

Many Singaporeans feared that the spike in young suicide victims was due to the performance-driven mindset of parents. Children and teens in Singapore do experience high levels of school stress. They may feel pressure from parents or caregivers to perform well and get high grades, with the goal of placing into good programs, graduating with honours, and getting high-paying jobs. Those are all worthy goals, but if the child or teen is pushed too hard, he or she may suffer from stress. The anxiety can actually backfire, causing the student to do poorly at school. Then, those failures can turn anxiety into depression.

Other Contributing Stress Factors

However, the Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health reminded citizens that school stress is only one of many contributing factors. A communication breakdown within the family, negative influences, broken relationships, money troubles, and other factors all have a part to play in driving a young person to despair.

A Survivor’s Story

In a TV episode of “On the Red Dot,” one suicide survivor shared her story. Her tale illustrates how other factors push young people towards the brink. Long years of watching her parents battle each other in an unhappy marriage took their toll on her, and she began to self-harm. Her parents finally divorced, but the damage had already been done. Their daughter suffered with general anxiety and major depressive disorder as a result of the family pressure and school stress. Several times, she almost killed herself. It was only with the support of her husband and the aid of a Singapore psychiatrist that she managed to heal and climb out of the darkness of depression.

Being a Positive Influence

Humans are complex, multi-faceted creatures. According to Dr. Ong, no human action such as suicide can be assigned one specific cause. It’s helpful if other people in the afflicted individual’s life can step up and be a positive influence, a beam of light in the darkness. If you notice someone acting sad, depressed, or emotionally pained, offer a listening ear and ask if you can help in any way.

Fighting for Your Future

Perhaps you are the one feeling overwhelmed and desperate. Several stress factors may have hit you all at once, causing you to feel helpless and hopeless. Call Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic and set up an appointment today. Our services are completely confidential, and our office is a welcoming place where you will receive care from a caring, experienced Singapore psychiatrist.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Channel News Asia, Nov 6, 2016.