It seemed like a distant thing when we heard of Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994. We have just woken up from the shock of having one of our younger brothers, Bom Leimapokpam (guitarist of the band The Dirty Strikes), committing suicide last week on 4th Jan 2015.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, if you are in a bad phase of life, when your spirits are low, when you feel depressed, when you feel like giving up on life, please reach out to your friends and near ones, please talk to a counselor, share your woes, don’t just confine it to yourselves. Deepika Padukone, the Bollywood actress was struggling with anxiety and depression; she admitted it just few days ago. There’s nothing to feel shy about dear friends.
Suicide rate is highest in the early twenties. It’s part of the family doctor’s responsibility to screen people of the risk and refer a psychiatrist when needed. Also in literature it is mentioned that in 80% people talk about suicide before they really commit it.
In a place like Manipur, where people are reluctant to see a doctor/ counselor/ psychiatrist, we have to break that social taboo on reaching out for help. It’s time we kick away the fear of what people will say in the society – “Doctor/ counselor/ psychiatrist ta laiyengba chatladi meena ei se ngaoure hainani.”
You are not the only ones who are facing the most difficult of times; you are not the only ones who are facing that moment of life when you feel despair and giving up life, these very two authors who are writing this very article have faced it. Had we given up, we would have been up there years ago, we won’t have been writing this article. And we are not the only ones; many have faced the most difficult times and heartbreaks. Don’t let it win over you. We have to fight the devil inside.
We are not psychologists, we are not counselors, and we are not the men of the trade. We are just common man like you. Coming straight to the point and talk practically – in Imphal, there’s a Department of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry at RIMS, Lamphel, and also at JNIMS, Porompat, where you can reach out to.
What we want to convey here today, on the Sorat/ Laanna-Thouram day of Bom Leimapokpam, is that – don’t confine to yourselves , open up, reach out, share, seek help. If one is suffering from depression or if one is going through suicidal thoughts, we should not hesitate in seeking help. It’s high time we destigmatise mental health difficulties. There’s no shame in seeking help!!! We could not save Bom Leimapokpam, but we hope together we can save other youths from doing the same.
By Bode Paonam and Ringo Pebam,
On behalf of the rock music community of Manipur.
17th Jan 2014