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Written by Dr. Ayesha Khan (dr.ashk1994@gmail.com), MBBS, Nishtar Hospital Multan

Sometimes in life all you need is a u-turn.Being a doctor,I have served in a number of wards.My experience in the Psychology ward influenced me to write this article.I came across a lot of patients suffering from a variety of psychological conditions.Some were facing depression,others Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD).There were cases of schizophrenia as well as somatoform disorders.

However,one thing was common in all of them:”frustration”.Yes,we use frustration very popularly in our daily lives.Yet,no one realizes the gravity of this word.The literal definition of this word “frustration” is “the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something”.In my words,I would regard frustration as a situation in which one finds him/herself in a dead alley from where there is no way forward.There is just darkness and the escape from that darkness is perceived to be an escape from life.Nonetheless,what most of us fail to do is to take a u-turn.Look back and run because there is always a way backwards.

The shocking rise in suicide rates generally across the globe and particularly in Pakistan makes me wonder what has brought humanity to this point.Leafing through many books,I found no answer.The answer ultimately came to me from my research on Karl Marx’s economic theory.There I came across a word “consumerism” which has led to the “middle-class anxiety”.The rise of capitalism has led to a gross inequality between the rich and the poor.In such a situation,the age of media has added fuel to the fire.The lavish lifestyle which is portrayed on media,especially social media,lures the middles class to the world of fantasy.We strive to achieve that royal lifestyle by hook or by crook.In this struggle,the person reaches a blind end and no light can be found on the other side of the tunnel.This is the point where one needs to take a u-turn.In my encounter with certain patients with suicidal thoughts,I have told them that it is okay to take a u-turn.Life always gives a second chance and it is okay yo fail sometimes.There is always hope and there is always light,one just needs to wait patiently.The suspected suicide of a doctor in her hostel room has moved my heart.We need to change our way of thinking.We need to realize that u-turns are sometimes necessary.I am on a constant struggle to eradicate suicide from the society and I want all youth to join me in this struggle.Let us put a semi-colon instead of a full-stop.Let us say no to suicide!

Read also “The Murder of Pakistan’s Student Union” by Yaseen Azam

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