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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 281-282  

Etiology of non-typical suicide patterns essential

AMSB, Mid (RNR); CUROP Researcher, Institute of Medical Education, Cardiff University, Cardiff; Vice President, United Kingdom Medical Student Association, United Kingdom

Date of Web Publication18-Dec-2013

Correspondence Address:
Thomas Iain Lemon
5th Floor, Cochrane Building, Institute of Medical Education, Cardiff School of Medicine, Cardiff
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.123246

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How to cite this article:
Lemon TI. Etiology of non-typical suicide patterns essential. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:281-2

How to cite this URL:
Lemon TI. Etiology of non-typical suicide patterns essential. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Dec 8];57:281-2. Available from:


Salve et al. [1] brief research paper aiming to evaluate and also to highlight the emergence of suicide in rural India as an increasing and emerging health concern was read with great interest.

There are several limitations to this study, not limited to the fact it is difficult to draw any concrete findings from "informal discussions" as there is no generic structure to these that would allow reproducibility or generalizability. Furthermore, demographic review through database is to some extent operator dependent and would bring into account issues of time delay and accuracy of recording of suicides, which may have given a different result regarding seasonal variation. I would agree with the authors that the cohort size is commendable.

Salve et al. study found that suicide was endemic and equally spread throughout the year, not related to agricultural worries and equal in both sexes. This goes against almost all known risk factors for suicide in the Western world, [2],[3],[4],[5] namely, increased in male sex, more common in certain seasons, often related to work stress (assimilated to agricultural worries), drug use [5],[6] and hence this study raises some interesting questions regarding the etiology of these suicides. Indeed the only common trend was the mechanism of suicide being poisoning, which is easily understood, as the authors' state, by the availability of suitable chemicals. Admittedly my comparing Western suicide trends with rural Indian is far from an ideal approach, however sex variation is somewhat ubiquitous in suicide and self-harm, with a male preponderance in the former and a female preponderance in the latter.

The authors suggest that the health system is not addressing the issue; however, the way to address the problem at grass roots would be with psychiatric support and as this is seemingly a non-typical suicide trend emerging and further work is needed to identify the etiology before psychiatric services could formulate an adequate response.

   References Top

1.Salve H, Kumar R, Sinha S, Krishnan A. Suicide an emerging public health problem: Evidence from rural Haryana, India. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:40-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Goldney RD. A retrospective of publications addressing suicidal behaviour in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1967-2012. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2013;47:431-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Lemon TI, Suicide ideation in drug users and the role of needles exchanges and their workers. Asian J of Psychiatry 6;5:429.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Miller M, Azrael D, Barber C. Suicide mortality in the United States: The importance of attending to method in understanding population-level disparities in the burden of suicide. Annu Rev Public Health 2012;33:393-408.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Lemon TI. Cultural Differences and Importance of Somatic Symptoms Could Provide Hidden Clues and Potential Management Options for Depressed Patients with Suicidal Ideation Iranian J. Med Sci 2013 38;2:202.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Lemon TI, Shah RD. Needle exchanges: An important yet forgotten outpost in suicide and self-harm prevention J. Psychosomatic Research 74;6;771-772.  Back to cited text no. 6


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