Tuesday, December 16, 2014

271 - IITian’s death shrouds in mystery - Assam Times

Submitted by AT News on Wed, 10/12/2014 - 20:04

The recent death of Tussar Yadav inside IIT-Guwahati campus seems to have shrouded in mystery. The IITian’s parents have alleged it a murder case and that they are unhappy with the police investigation which has yet to ascertain the real circumstances where the Gurgaon student died on September 14.  

In an appeal sent to Assam Times, his parents rued that only a CBI probe would be able to unearth the truth.  They further alleged that the suicide note handed over to them bears no mention of date and signature whereas the IIT-G authorities have cited depression quoting the note "Hi mummy papa this is Tushar, I want to tell you about my story. I was in full depression over 2 months. It is worst".

 “This is the only document taken as proof of depression by the IIT authority.  Therefore, it creates a doubt in our minds as to who directed whom to search for the said note and under what circumstances.

Moreover the handwriting of the note and the handwriting of Tushar do not seem to match at all. The same needs to be investigated by the competent authorities,” alleged Tushar’s parents.  

 They find it utter surprising that there was no open injury, abrasion, contusion even after a fall from the height of more than 40 feet.  The post-mortem report merely states the cause of death to be “death due to damage to back bone”. The position and condition of his  body does not indicate as if he had jumped off from a height of 40 feet!

They rued that these circumstance suggest that this is not a case of suicide as it was maintained by Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati but there is something more sinister which has been brewing up at the Guwahati campus. 

- See more at: http://www.assamtimes.org/node/12540#sthash.8vc4c1eR.dpuf

Friday, November 7, 2014

270 - Death by design - Hindu Businessline

Public conversations about death have always been crowd-pullers. In the last few weeks though, the tone and tenor of these conversations have changed

Death, it seems, is ‘trending’ right now. Perhaps it is the times we live in, bereft of irony and filled only with the certainty of entitlement, one that makes the application of a freshly-minted verb to a timeless eventuality not just acceptable, but even appropriate. Public conversations about death have always been crowd-pullers, but in the last couple of decades, eager as we have been to live on, consume on and get a bucket list of activities and achievements accomplished, they have largely been limited to who and how. These reports — of suicidal IIT students or adventure seekers swept away by a suddenly swollen river — have mainly been consumed with morbid fascination, fuelled only by the relief that it happened to someone else, when it could so easily have been oneself. 

Suddenly, in the last few weeks though, the tone and tenor of public conversations about death have changed.

The first jolt was when it popped up on our Facebook walls. It seemed jarring that in an ecosystem built around preserving the photo of every moment of our existence and every random thought that pops up in our head, a 29-year-old was talking about death. If you have been a user of the internet in the last few weeks, it is likely that you too stumbled upon the story of Brittany Maynard. At 29, Maynard is too young to die. She is also, as some commentators have pointed out, too pretty to die. 

Both of which are the reasons why her story has gone viral. In January this year, Maynard’s headaches were diagnosed as a malignant brain tumour. She was given five to 10 years to live. But in April, further tests confirmed that she was at stage four of the cancer and that her health was likely to deteriorate drastically. She had only about six months of quality life ahead of her.

Maynard immediately took control of her death. She moved to the state of Oregon, where she is allowed to legally choose her death; established a new home; got a new driving licence as well as access to medication that would help her die. Then she went about trying to finish as many things on her bucket list as she could. All the while, she continues to campaign for more states to pass laws that would allow the terminally ill to die with dignity. If she sticks to her plan, then today, November 1, 2014, would be her last.

Confronting mortality
Shocking as Maynard’s decision is, determining the point at which life becomes untenable is something the medical community is just about starting to think over. In his latest book, Being Mortal, Atul Gawande, who is a general and endocrine surgeon in Boston, US, says that the medical profession’s focus on keeping patients alive at any cost is counterintuitive. “I learned about a lot of things in medical school,” Gawande starts his book, “but mortality wasn’t one of them. Our textbooks had almost nothing on ageing or frailty or dying. How the process unfolds, how people experience the end of their lives, and how it affects those around them seemed beside the point. The way we saw it, the way our professors saw it, the purpose of medical schooling was to teach how to save lives, not how to tend to their demise.”

Yet, demise is inevitable. And even though we are the only species to be aware of this inevitability, we are often the ones least prepared to deal with it. Through case studies, research and anecdotes, Gawande proposes a radically different approach to looking at death — by assessing how one wants to live. Patients must ask themselves what is important to them — the ability to be mobile, or use the bathrooms themselves, to be conscious, to be able to talk, to attend a wedding over the weekend, to see a child who is on his way back from a place far away — and then decide if the risks of the medical procedure are worth giving up any of these goals.

It isn’t, of course, as easy as it sounds. Ageing itself is a slow process of losing control over things that matter. As more and more decisions of what is important to you are handed over to other people — spouses, children — it becomes increasingly hard to decide on a goal, much less prioritise it. The process of caring for geriatrics is intrinsically one that infantilises them. Gawande sits in with a doctor at the geriatrics clinic of the hospital he works in. After going through the list of problems and the medications the patient was taking, the doctor embarks on a close examination of the feet of the patient. The biggest risk that the elderly face is that of falling. In the US, of the 350,000 people who fall and break their hip every year, 40 per cent end up in a nursing home and 20 per cent are never able to walk again. Even if a patient seems fine for their age and the number of medical conditions they have, the feet often tell a different story. The patient who was examined while Gawande was sitting in, came in well dressed and looked like she maintained herself very well. Yet, her feet were swollen. The toenails were unclipped. There were sores between her toes and the balls of the feet had thick, rounded calluses. The most significant advice the doctor had for her was to direct her to a podiatrist once a month, so that her feet were better taken care of.

It isn’t just feet care. Like in babies, even something as basic and essential as swallowing is challenging for the elderly. Over time, the lordosis of the spine tips the head forward. In terms of the angle of the throat, looking ahead is akin to looking up. Choking is common. Older people have to be reminded to look down while eating, so that food can pass through the throat. It is then normal for family members and caregivers to assume that a person who isn’t capable of eating on her own is incapable of deciding on what kind of medical treatment is appropriate for them.

Home and away
Caring for the elderly is a particularly complex problem in the Indian context. Traditionally, the joint family system provided an in-house support system, with children, their spouses, and grandchildren pitching in — some happily and voluntarily, some grudgingly. As urban and semi-urban India moves rapidly into a system of nuclear families, caring for the elderly becomes an acute problem. They are often dragged across geographically and forcibly introduced to new and alien environments as it isn’t professionally possible to always insist on staying close to ageing parents. Depression is common among these geriatrics, as is a sense of uselessness and helplessness. The real estate market is the first to recognise senior citizens as a credible customer base. Townships fitted with medical and housekeeping help are increasingly coming up in suburban India. As large numbers of young Indians seek work outside the country, these become a relatively safe option for their parents.
While the number of assisted-living facilities is growing, the immense societal judgment of ‘abandoning one’s parents’ prevents the vast majority from opting for them. So people continue to care for the elderly even though they don’t often wish to. It isn’t surprising then that a survey by HelpAge India reported in June this year that 50 per cent of the elderly were abused in their home. This is up from 23 per cent last year. The survey covered 1,200 elderly in Tier I and Tier II Indian cities. Among Tier I cities, Bangalore reported 75 per cent of polled elders facing abuse, while Delhi reported 22 per cent. Verbal abuse (41 per cent), disrespect (33 per cent) and neglect (29 per cent) were ranked the most common types of abuse. Sons and daughters-in-law were the abusers and most elders said they suffered this because of emotional and economic dependence on the abuser. Despite the fact that Indians laud ‘family values’ in public, truth is in a large number of homes, the elderly are stripped of love, dignity and a desire to live.

Reason to live
In the US, hospice care is an increasingly attractive option, where patients are made comfortable, their pain is managed, but no new course of treatment is offered. On paper, hospice care, and assisted-living facilities for the aged, may seem like a sort of easing into death, a way of candy flossing the morbid. But it doesn’t have to be so. If done right, it is a way of finding new things to live for. Being Mortal tells the story of Bill Thomas, a 31-year-old physician who took charge of Chase Memorial Nursing home, an assisted-living facility with 80 disabled and elderly residents. The home was running well, but Thomas saw despair in every room. In a particularly inspired experiment, he managed to introduce two dogs, four cats and one hundred birds into the facility. It wasn’t without problems. But when the teething troubles were over, the results were evident. It changed the place around, bringing in birdsong and life to the residents’ lives.
Researchers studied the effects of this programme over two years, comparing a variety of measures for Chase’s residents with those of residents at a nearby nursing home. The study found that the number of prescriptions required in Chase fell to half that of the control nursing home. Psychotropic drugs for agitation decreased in particular. The total drug costs fell to just 38 per cent of the comparison facility. Death fell 15 per cent. The study couldn’t say why. But Thomas thought he could — “I believe that the difference in death rates can be traced to the fundamental human need for a reason to live.”
Part of life
What then is a reason to live? When all ambition is exhausted and there is no energy to create more, perhaps that is the point when finding a reason to live becomes difficult. In a charming essay in The Guardian last month, legendary editor Diana Athill says the idea of death has never been alarming. The process of death is another matter. “Death is the inevitable end of an individual object’s existence — I don’t say “end of life” because it is a part of life. Everything begins, develops — if animal or vegetable, breeds — then fades away: everything, not just humans, animals, plants, but things which seem to us eternal, such as rocks. Mountains wear down from jagged peaks to flatness. Even planets decay. That natural process is death.”
In another much-shared essay in The Atlantic in September, Ezekiel Emanuel, the director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the National Institutes of Health, US, wrote why he wouldn’t want to live beyond 75. He wasn’t advocating euthanasia, merely listing the reasons why a life beyond that age holds no charm. It is the tail end of a productive life, creativity diminishes, activities are harder and less joyful and chances of active contribution to society are significantly reduced. “Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my healthcare will completely change. I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either. Today, when the doctor recommends a test or treatment, especially one that will extend our lives, it becomes incumbent upon us to give a good reason why we don’t want it. The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it,” Emanuel writes.
Although all of Emanuel’s arguments are well constructed and he provides data to prove most of his hypotheses, the comments on the essay are almost entirely written in a tone of outrage. Everyone, it seems, knows someone who is 80 or 90 and just as productive and creative as they have always been. These people may well exist. But their numbers are small, which is perhaps why the commentators themselves find them exceptional.
The arguments that detail the outrage though are more often spiritual than scientific. But then it is inevitable that people hide from death behind god. Despite centuries of medical advances and scientific progress, death remains, even today, the ultimate mystery. It can be viewed as a chasm to fall through, a lonely and frightening journey, or it could be viewed simply, as the end. Haemorrhaging after a miscarriage, Athill once nearly died. She writes, “I was not in the least alarmed as I dimly wondered if I had the strength left to think some suitable Last Thought, concluded that I hadn’t, and said to myself the words: ‘Oh well, if I die I die.’ I was sure, then, that nothingness was just that.”
(This article was published on October 31, 2014)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

269 - CCTV footage provides fresh twist in IIT-Delhi boy's death - TNN

Purusharth Aradhak, TNN | Oct 15, 2014, 01.57AM IST

NOIDA: With the recovery of a CCTV footage showing IIT-Delhi student, Anchal Bhardwaj, at the office of a private financial company that offers loan against mortgage of gold jewellery, police claimed to have made headway in the investigation of his death.

Bhardwaj's father had alleged that his son was killed by his cousin who suspected him of stealing gold jewellery from his apartment.

The cousin's family had later claimed to have recovered a jewellery box from Anchal's room, cops said. Anchal died after falling from his cousin's eighth-floor apartment on October 3. Police said they are yet to ascertain whether it was an accidental fall, a murder or an abetment to suicide.

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"During the investigation, we recovered CCTV footage of a private financial company in Noida which deals in giving loans against gold. The footage suggests Anchal had visited the company office," an officer said. Sources said Anchal had deposited some gold ornaments with the financial firm and sold the rest to friends. "We have seen the deceased in the CCTV footage. We have also questioned some of his friends who purchased gold from him," an officer said.

The cop added that while Anchal's cousins said he fell-off accidentally, his father Mahavir Bhardwaj alleged that the cousins, who suspected Anchal of stealing the jewellery, threatened to set his educational documents on fire if he did not admit to the crime and also pushed him to his death.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

268 - IIT boy's death: Cops don't rule out abetment - TNN

IIT boy's death: Cops don't rule out abetment
Purusharth Aradhak, TNN | Oct 8, 2014, 03.57AM IST

NOIDA: The father of the IIT-Delhi student who was found dead in an apartment complex in Noida last week was questioned by the police on Tuesday, a day after a murder case was filed on the basis of his complaint.

Mahavir Bhardwaj has alleged that his 21-year-old son, Anchal, didn't commit suicide but was murdered by his cousin and his family. Anchal died after he purportedly fell from his cousin's eighth floor flat in the housing complex in Sector 121 last Friday.

Even as police said they were also probing if Anchal was driven to suicide - he was accused of stealing jewellery belonging to his cousin's wife -investigations on Tuesday revealed another cousin of Anchal was also present in the flat the day he died. The other cousin and his wife had threatened to set Anchal's academic certificates on fire if he did not confess he had stolen the jewellery, Mahavir told the police. "The couple had also taken my son's laptop to their residence," he alleged.

The cousin's family has, meanwhile, told the police Anchal fell accidentally from the flat, senior superintendent of police Preetinder Singh said.

"If he was accused of theft, there is a possibility of mounting pressure on him, so this could also be an abetment to suicide case," SSP Preetinder Singh said.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

267 - IIT boy falls to death, dad cries murder - TNN

Purusharth Aradhak, TNN | Oct 6, 2014, 07.09AM IST

A student of IIT Delhi was found dead at a housing society in Noida’s Sector 121 after he fell from his cousin’s eighth-floor apartment.

NOIDA: A student of IIT Delhi was found dead at a housing society in Noida's Sector 121 after he fell from his cousin's eighth-floor apartment. The youth's father has filed a police complaint accusing the cousin and his family of murder. Police, however, are yet to file an FIR. 

Anchal Bhardwaj, 21, an MTech student, died on Friday evening. The incident came to light only on Sunday after his father lodged a complaint and police started a probe to examine the allegations before registering a case. 

Bhardwaj lived as a paying guest in Sector 22 and was visiting his cousin's resident at an apartment complex developed by the Ajnara group, according to his father. The cousin lives in the flat with his wife. 

Vishwajeet Srivastav, the deputy superintendent of police, said Bhardwaj's cousin visited his PG accommodation on Friday and invited him for lunch. "Later in the evening he fell from the eighth-floor apartment. He was taken to Fortis hospital but was declared dead on arrival," Srivastav added. The autopsy report, he said, suggested that the death was caused by the fall. 

"The Sector 58 police station in-charge is probing the case. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, we will decide our course of action," Srivastav said. 

In his complaint, Anchal's father Mahavir Bhardwaj says his nephew suspected his son of stealing jewellery from the apartment. "A few days ago, some jewellery of my nephew's wife was lost. They suspected it was Anchal. On Friday, when Anchal left his PG accommodation for Sector 121, his room was searched by them," Mahavir alleged, adding, "I suspect he was murdered and the crime scene dressed up to show it was a suicide." 

The police said the family of Bhardwaj's cousin claimed the jewellery box was recovered from Anchal's room. The Bhardwaj family hails from Uttar Pradesh and Anchal's father is a teacher in Haryana. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

266 - Treating the Root Causes of Suicide

30 September 2014 by Kimberly Wilkes in Newsletter 2014 

When beloved actor Robin Williams committed suicide, it sent shock waves throughout the entire world. Many of us wondered how a man who had such talent to make people laugh could harbor so much personal sadness and despair.

The truth of the matter is suicide isn’t a choice—it’s a symptom of a disease, namely depression. Although at first glance, depression seems as if it’s a mental problem, in reality there’s more to the story. In most cases, a physical cause is behind this mental illness. If you or a loved one suffer from depression, getting to the root of the possible physical cause or causes can make a world of difference—and possibly even save a life.

In this article, I’m going to show you how taking charge of certain aspects of your physical health—or that of your loved ones—can give mental health a big boost, too. But first, let’s take a look at some suicide facts and how to recognize whether someone you know may be thinking about ending it all. As you’re reading this article, keep in mind that depression is a serious illness and you should always work with your doctor in using any of the advice in this article.

The Far-Reaching Consequences of Suicide
If you know someone who committed suicide, you may ask yourself over and over if there was something you could have done to save your friend or family member. For some people, the grief of losing a loved one to suicide takes a more deadly turn.

A recent study showed that people who are grieving the suicide of a romantic partner and mothers of adult children who killed themselves are at a significantly higher risk of committing suicide compared with people grieving the sudden deaths of loved ones from other causes. In addition, children whose mother committed suicide are more likely to suffer from long-term depression.1

Even more sobering is the fact that suicide rates are rising among adults. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2010, suicide increased by 28.4 percent in people ages 35 to 64.2  This means that more people die of suicide than in car accidents.

Signs to Watch For
According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, here are some signs a person you know and love may be considering suicide:3
  • Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone can suffer from depression and think about suicide. But there are groups of people who may have a particularly high risk. Anyone who has suffered childhood abuse may be at risk for depression and suicide.4 Veterans also have a high suicide rate, especially those who have returned from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.5

After a relationship breakup, men in particular are at an increased risk of suicide.6 Children and adolescents who have been bullied also are more vulnerable.7

Sadly, in the U.S., more than 6,000 senior citizens take their own lives every year.8 Because seniors tend to be more frail, most succeed on their first attempt to harm themselves.8 People who have chronic pain and people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs also are at higher risk of suicide.

The Suicide Gene
Scientists have uncovered a gene that is found more often in people contemplating suicide than in depressed people who don’t express a desire to harm themselves.9

Researchers examined the DNA of more than 400 people who had major depression. Approximately one-third of these people had attempted suicide. The researchers found that a connection between a variant of a gene called RGS2—which is involved in the activity of certain brain chemical receptors—and suicidal behavior.

The study authors found two copies of the variant linked to suicidal behavior in 43 percent of the suicidal patients. Less than 20 percent of these suicidal subjects had two copies of a variant that seemed to protect against suicide.

But just because it’s “in your genes” doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. If you’re depressed or know someone who is, it’s more important than ever to take care of the physical causes behind the depression and suicidal thoughts.

Physical Causes of Mental Illness
Let’s face it, if you’re depressed, the last thing you feel like doing is taking care of yourself.  It becomes a catch-22 problem.

You don’t feel like doing even some relatively simple things that can make a huge difference in your outlook on life. So you feel even worse—and are even less likely to eat right and take care of yourself. That’s where friends and family are important.
They can urge you to take care of yourself even when it’s the last thing in the world you feel like doing. If you’re depressed, ask your friends and family to help you begin to practice some of the suggestions below. And if you’re a loved one of someone who is contemplating suicide, help them take care of themselves by suggesting they follow the suggestions below. Once you start feeling better, you’ll be more likely to take charge of your own health.

The Thyroid Connection
A little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck could be what’s making you feel sad and depressed. When the thyroid gland becomes sluggish, it can trigger a number of symptoms, including depression.

Scientists have found many connections between the thyroid gland and mood. In rodent studies, levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin rise in the brain after treatment with the thyroid hormone T3.10 During hypothyroidism, the brain also produces less serotonin.10

In human studies, the connection between depression and hypothyroidism is strongest in people with low thyroid function who are taking the thyroid hormone thyroxine. In a study of 697 hypothyroid subjects being treated with thyroxine, the people who had higher levels of TSH and lower free T4 (markers of hypothyroidism) were the ones most likely to experience a drop in their sense of well-being.11

Ask your doctor to order a blood test to measure your thyroid hormone levels. Working with a nutritionally minded physician, you can also get your iodine levels tested. Iodine is important for your thyroid gland to work properly. If your levels are low, supplementing with a combination of iodine/iodide can help nourish your thyroid gland.

Get Your ZZZZs
Lack of sleep is one of the most important risk factors for depression. In fact, a recent study found that senior citizens who didn’t sleep well were more likely to die by suicide compared with seniors who usually had a good night’s sleep.12
The researchers looked at the sleep quality of 20 people who died of suicide. They then compared this to the sleep quality of 400 people whose cause of death was not suicide. The study subjects who suffered from poor sleep were 1.4 times more likely to die by suicide within 10 years than subjects who said they usually slept well.

Sleeping poorly was an even stronger predictor of suicide than depressive symptoms. And combining poor sleep with depressed mood most reliably predicted suicide risk.

This wasn’t the first study to show a link between sleep deprivation and suicide. After interviewing the relatives of suicide victims, researchers conducting an earlier study in Japan found that sleep disturbances occurred significantly more often in a group of people who had committed suicide (75.5 percent) compared to the controls (11 percent). This group of researchers also found that poor sleep was responsible for more suicide cases than mental disorders.13

If sleep is an issue for you, there are some simple things you can try. First, take melatonin, 3 to 10 mg per night. Melatonin is the sleep hormone. It’s produced in the pineal gland of your brain mostly at night. Melatonin levels fall as we age. They also drop if you’re exposed to light at night. Supplementation can help restore melatonin levels and may help you sleep better.
In addition, avoid watching any action-adventure movies before bedtime. And try to avoid looking at computer screens or cell phones for at least a couple hours before bed since they emit blue light, which lowers melatonin levels.

It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeinated beverages (such as coffee or soda) after 12:00 noon. It takes some people 12 hours to metabolize caffeine. Plus, sleep in a dark room to boost your body’s natural supply of melatonin.
If you can’t sleep because you’re stressed, then follow some of the stress-relief suggestions below.

Combat the Stress
Chronic stress is not a friend to your peace of mind. In fact, chronic stress is a risk factor for major depression. Constant or near-constant stress changes the production of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin. In addition, when your brain produces new neurons in the hippocampus, it creates an antidepressant effect. But when chronic stress blocks the production of new brain neurons, it blocks this effect,14  making you more susceptible to depression.

Meditation and yoga are two ways to relieve chronic stress. Exercise is also a stress-reducer—plus, it can relieve depression, too. (More on this later).

Your alternative-minded doctor can also order an Adrenal Function Panel, a salivary hormone test that measures your cortisol levels. After you’ve been stressed for a long time, your cortisol levels can plummet, causing adrenal burnout. When this happens, your adrenal glands can no longer produce cortisol, leaving you feeling drained.

If the test results show your adrenals are exhausted, supplement with a combination of adrenal glandular and licorice root. Licorice can block the enzyme responsible for inactivating cortisol, causing cortisol levels to rise.15

Does Your Birth Month Put You at Greater Risk?
Scientists have found that being born during the summer may predispose schizophrenic persons to suicide.16 So why would season of birth matter? Your body produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. For people who are born in summer, the first two trimesters of their mother’s pregnancy are in late fall and winter, when vitamin D levels drop.
Similarly, in many countries, suicide rates are highest in spring, when vitamin D levels are lowest. In the winter, some people also develop a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression. Some research suggests low vitamin D levels may play a role in SAD.17

What’s more, low vitamin D levels are linked to suicide. Researchers studied blood samples of 495 U.S. military members who had committed suicide sometime in the last 24 months and compared them to samples from 495 controls. The service men and women who had committed suicide tended to have the lowest vitamin D levels.18

Your doctor can order a blood test to measure your vitamin D levels. Ideally, you want your vitamin D levels to hover between 50 ng/mL and 75 ng/mL all year long, even in winter. Supplement with 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, depending on the results of your blood test.

Mood Enhancers from the Sea
Many studies have found a link between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and depression. What’s more, adult, depressed suicide victims have lower levels of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) compared with controls.19
One group of researchers investigated suicide deaths among active duty military and found that higher levels of DHA protected against suicide.20 Another group of researchers examined the medical literature and found that the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) acts as an antidepressant.21

Aim for 1 to 2 grams per day of a supplement containing both DHA and EPA, as this is the amount successfully used in studies of depression.

Your Diet and Depression
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two of the biggest offenders when it comes to mood-destroying foods. In one study of 23,976 adolescents in China, researchers investigated intake of soft drinks and sweet food consumption and suicidal behavior. Among the 12 to 19-year-olds studied, 20.5 percent reported that they drank soft drinks daily.

The adolescents who drank soft drinks were more likely to have a suicidal plan or have attempted suicide. Compared to the adolescents who drank soft drinks less than once per day, those who drank these beverages at least three times per day had an 80 percent increased risk for suicidal plans and were more than 3.5 times more likely to attempt suicide. Eating lots of sweet foods also was linked to an increased risk of suicidal behaviors.22

One thing you don’t have to give up is coffee, at least not in the morning. Harvard scientists found that drinking two to three cups of coffee daily is linked to a 45 percent reduced risk of suicide.23 The caffeine in coffee increases levels of brain chemicals like serotonin, making it a mild natural antidepressant. (Just don’t drink it in the afternoon or evening!)
It’s not only what you eat—it’s also what you don’t eat. If you’re not getting enough nutrients in your diet, it may leave you vulnerable to depression. One study showed that there’s an association between intakes of linoleic acid, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc and better mental health.24 So load up on veggies and fruit, and take a good multivitamin, too.

The More You Move, The Better Your Mood
A large number of studies show exercise can reduce the symptoms of major depression and anxiety disorders. Depressed people who exercise have been able to reduce their antidepressant dosages.25 In addition, physical activity can reduce the depression that occurs in Alzheimer’s patients.25
In one study, exercise worked as well as an antidepressant drug in reducing depression symptoms, but the effects of the antidepressant drug kicked in faster, and the exercise took longer to work. After 16 weeks, however, both the antidepressant drug and exercise worked equally well.26

Don’t Go It Alone
Talk to a friend or family member who can help you get motivated to put the advice in this article into practice. Your mental suffering may be caused by a number of physical problems such as specific nutrient deficiencies.

There are easy ways to address these physical problems such as supplementing with vitamin D3, omega-3 fatty acids and a good multivitamin, exercising, addressing thyroid issues, cutting sugar and soft drinks from your diet, practicing stress-reduction techniques and finding ways to get rid of your insomnia such as supplementing with melatonin. Once you take care of these physical problems, you’ll likely have a whole new outlook on life.
Finally, if you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, where you will be connected to a helpful voice at your local or regional suicide lifeline.


  1. Pitman A, et al. The Lancet Psychiatry. June 2014;1(1):86-94.
  2. No authors listed. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). May 3, 2013; 62(17):321-5.
  3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
  4. Pompili M et al. Psychiatry Res. 2014 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print.]
  5. Kimbrel NA, et al. Psychiatry Res. 2014 Aug 14. [Epub ahead of print.]
  6. Scourfield J and Evans R. Am J Mens Health. 2014 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print.]
  7. Duong J and Bradshaw C. J Sch Health. 2014 Oct;84(10):636-45.
  8. Conwell Y. Am J Prev Med. 2014 Sep;47(3 Suppl 2):S244-50.
  9. The Scientist. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/31394/title/Suicide-Gene-Identified/.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

265 - Kharagpur Confessions - Face Book

Kharagpur, March 30: An IIT Kharagpur student hailing from Rajasthan was today found hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room and a note found on his bed said: “Mother, forgive me.”

Police said Lokesh Kumar Goyel, 22, a fourth-year chemical engineering student, apparently committed suicide because he was suffering from “some kind of depression”.

The alleged suicide comes days after another IIT student from Andhra Pradesh hanged himself to death on March 17, upset with not getting the job of his choice.

It could not be immediately confirmed if Lokesh, who was described by IIT authorities as a good student and a jovial person, was unhappy with any job interview.

A police officer said: “We found a three-line note lying on the bed addressed to his mother. The note said: ‘Mother forgive me for what I have done in four years’. However, the lines were scratched out with a pencil. We suspect the student was suffering from some kind of depression. We are waiting for the post-mortem report.”

IIT registrar Tapan Kumar Ghosal said the news of Lokesh’s death came as a “shock” to him. “It was a shock. He was a good student and performed well in his semesters. He was a jovial person, too. Yesterday, he had dinner with his friends in the hostel. We are surprised at the turn of events. We have informed the student’s family at Khanna in Karauli district of Rajasthan,” Ghosal said.

He added that Lokesh was preparing for an internship in Mumbai.

The body of Lokesh was today found by his friends who had come to call him for dinner. Doctors said the 22-year-old had died at least six to seven hours before being brought to the hospital.

“It was around 7.20pm and we were going for dinner. I went to call him but found the door of his room bolted from inside. When he did not respond to repeated knocking, I called some other inmates of the hostel and broke the door. We found him hanging from the ceiling fan. We informed the authorities and called an ambulance.”

A police officer said preliminary examination had revealed that Lokesh had tried to cut the veins of his left wrist and left leg but was unsuccessful.

The police said a team arrived from the station just outside the IIT campus within five minutes of being informed and brought down the body.

“When we took the student to B.C. Roy Hospital on the campus, doctors declared him dead on arrival,” a police officer said.

Today’s was the second alleged suicide at IIT Kharagpur in a month. On March 17, Boga Shravan, a student from Andhra Pradesh pursuing MTech in computer science, committed suicide as the job he got in a university offered a much lower salary than what he had aimed for.

On March 11, Shoaib Ahmed, an IIT Guwahati student hailing from North 24-Parganas, was found hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room. IIT Guwahati director Gautam Biswas had said Shoaib’s friends had told the authorities that the student had been suffering from depression. His family had contested the claim.

264 - IIT boy’s father smells foul play in death - Telegraph India


Shoaib Ahmed, the IIT student found dead

Basirhat, March 12: The father of the IIT Guwahati student found hanging in his hostel room yesterday has contested the claim that his son committed suicide and has alleged foul play.

“We don’t believe that Shoaib (Ahmed) committed suicide. Have you ever heard that one commits suicide by keeping the door of his room open? There is foul play behind my son’s death,” said Mustaq Ahmed, the 22-year-old’s father who lives in North 24-Parganas’ Bhabla and teaches science in a local school.

“We will decide on our future course of action after the last rites are over,” he added. The body of Shoaib, who was allegedly found hanging around 7.30am yesterday by some of his hostel mates, was flown to Calcutta this afternoon. His relatives reached Bhabla with the body around 7.30pm.

IIT Guwahati director Gautam Biswas had said yesterday that Shoaib’s friends had told the authorities that the 22-year-old, who was pursuing masters in mathematics, had been suffering from depression.

Shoaib’s uncle Samsad Ali, who lives in Guwahati, echoed Mustaq. “We suspect foul play. Shoaib’s room was found open. We have submitted relevant documents and Shoaib’s cellphone to police (in Assam) for a proper inquiry,” Samsad said.

The officer in charge of Jalukbari police station in Guwahati, P.K. Das, said circumstantial evidence suggested that Shoaib had committed suicide. “But we did not find a suicide note. We will know the cause of death after we get the post-mortem report, which is likely to be submitted in three days,” Das said.
A pall of gloom descended on Shoaib’s two-storey house and the neighbourhood today. Neighbours and relatives stood in front of the house.

“Shoaib’s mother was informed about her son’s death this morning. She has been crying since then,” said Golam Kuddus, 53, a neighbour.

A relative said he did not believe that Shoaib had ended his own life as no suicide note had been found. He also contested the claim that the student was suffering from depression. “We don’t know if he was depressed. But he was definitely under study-related stress, which is natural in institutions like IITs,” the relative said.

263 - Family suspects foul play - Telegraph India


Guwahati, March 12: IIT Guwahati student Shoaib Ahmed’s family today alleged that he had not committed suicide and suspected foul play.

“We suspect foul play. His room was found open. We have submitted all the papers and deposited his mobile phone to police for a proper inquiry,” Shoaib’s uncle Samsad Ali, who lives here, said.

Shoaib’s father Sheikh Mustaq Ahmed, a science teacher, today said at Basirhat in West Bengal, “We don’t believe that Shoaib committed suicide. Have you ever heard that one commits suicide by keeping the door of his room open? There is foul play behind my son’s death.

Shoaib was yesterday found hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room by a group of students who had come to call him for class at 7.30am. Shoaib’s body, on which a post-mortem was conducted yesterday, was handed over to his family around 11 this morning. It was flown to Calcutta at 2.30pm. It reached his home at Bhabla around 7.30pm, escorted by his elder brother, Shamim Ahmed.

Jalukbari police station officer-in-charge P.K. Das, today said they were waiting for the post-mortem report. He said while circumstantial evidence suggested suicide, they had not found any suicide note.

A relative said Shoaib was not known to be suffering from depression. “But he was definitely under stress about his studies which is natural in institutions like IIT.”

262 - Another IIT Guwahati student commits suicide - Deccan Herald

Another IIT Guwahati student commits suicide
Guwahati:Sep 15, 2014, DHNS:

 An Electronics and Communication Engineering student of IIT Guwahati was found dead behind his three-storey hostel building on Sunday, the police said.

The body of Tushar Yadav (19), a resident of Gurgaon in Haryana, was found lying in a pool of blood around 7:30 am.

The police maintain that the student committed suicide on Saturday night by jumping from the hostel rooftop.

Police also found a note addressed to his parents which says he was suffering from depression for the past two months.

“In the suicide note, the student has apologised to his parents,” police said. They are waiting for the fingerprints report.

The post-mortem was conducted at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. Students and faculty of IIT Guwahati, which is on the outskirts of the city, were shocked.

His friends said he has been suffering from depression since long, but they were not aware of the reasons, though Yadav was good at studies. 

This is the second suicide case in IIT Guwahati in the last six months. Shoaib Ahmed, a second semester M.Sc. student from West Bengal, hanged himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room in March. 

At least five suicide cases have been reported in the institution so far.

IIT Guwahati is in the top 100 young world universities' list published by London-based Times Higher Education magazine, becoming the first Indian institute to receive the accolade.  The institute was established on the basis of the Assam Accord.