First and foremost is the use of the word (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the movie. It is used to ‘explain’ how a person can ‘imagine’ a non-existent person (daughter). BUT the truth is that in someone suffering from PTSD, no ‘imagination’ takes place. The victim/patient is constantly on the edge and fears of some mis-happening, often the same that he/she has already endured and which resulted in the PTSD. (Such an event is life threatening or at that time made a person feel very helpless.)
On the other hand, ‘imagination’ of a non-existent person is a delusion that a person suffering from Psychosis, does have. However, such thoughts will often be associated with other ‘imaginations’ especially hearing non-existent voices.
Of course we know that the lead actress in Baaghi 2 was not having either PTSD or Psychosis. But, after 2 months of stress, isolation, loneliness and failure in finding her daughter, when Neha Salgaoncar is assertively told by the Hero that she does not have a daughter and by conclusion she is ‘imagining’ her daughter etc; it is the last straw on the camel’s back. With no hope at all of finding her daughter, she probably felt helpless and hopeless; and that led to her jumping off and ending her life.
Unfortunately, this is what leads to many people ending their life. (‘This’ means helpless and hopeless). If we as a concerned society want to make any effort to reduce, prevent and end loss of life by suicide; we need to work hard at giving people hope, at helping them and at making people feel that a solution to their problem can be found.
It is also important to understand that a Psychiatrist is the best person who can help you find hope within yourself. People refuse to consult a Psychiatrist when facing a loss of trust, loss of sleep and loss of energy, BUT loss of good thoughts about the present and the future are just as solvable by a psychiatrist as any other change in feelings and emotions are. If, and it’s a big IF, Neha Salgaoncar had consulted me, Dr Maneesh Gupta, a Psychiatrist and even IF the husband would have claimed that the daughter does not exist, I would still have been able to help Neha.
First, because the husband and Neha would have been at odds about the issue of the daughter, I would have asked the husband to allow me some time to speak to Neha alone.
Second, I would then have reassured that even if I could not deduce where the daughter was, I could make Neha stronger and more capable of finding the daughter.
Third, I would have offered her my support in discussing her plans to make the search more successful, and would have advised medicine to help her sleep better, eat better and think better.
Neha would have thus felt less helpless, and would have some hope of moving forward. The medicine would actually have been given to bring about a chemical change in Neha’s brain, so that positive thoughts could be facilitated, and negative helpless and hopeless one reduced. As the mind would relax, sleep and appetite would have been better. Usually in about 2-3 weeks of regular consultation, the risk of death by suicide can be mitigated.
There are other steps that I would advise anyone caring for or living with a person who has an emotional condition leading to helplessness and hopelessness, which may result in thoughts of death.
1. Always have someone by their side, do not leave the person alone.
2. Lock all poisonous substances, chemicals and medicines so that the person does not have access to any this dangerous that could be taken by mouth and cause harm.
3. Keep secure all windows and doors leading to outside spaces from where a fall from a height is possible. By ‘keep secure’ I mean either lock them or have grills on the windows and balconies (to prevent any accidental or deliberate fall). In the good old days we used to have grills on all windows ostensibly to prevent theft. Today, high rise buildings and apartment complexes, in their belief that they are high enough to deter thieves from entering the apartments or office spaces through the windows, do not have any grills on windows. Unlike in the west, we do not even restrict the window opening to a width that would allow air bit not allow a person to climb or fall through. We have omitted to look at the dangers within ourselves. Suicide is the biggest reason for death of 15-30 year olds at home. In India, hanging by fans is the commonest reason, but in urban and metropolitan areas, death by jumping of balconies or terraces is also a very common occurrence. We haven’t yet made it mandatory for fans to give way if a load of more than 30 kg is put on its hanging fixtures (despite their being a simple device which can do so) and hence, hanging remains an unfortunately easy way for most people who commit suicide. But jumping off is an even ‘easier’ way out! Regrettably, in high rises, access to roofs ad terraces too is more often than not unmonitored and unfettered. (In one instance, a 30 yr old lady jumped off the terrace of a 10 storey building in Dwarka, New Delhi and died. She was suffering from Depression. One month later, I went to check whether the apartment association of the building had learnt anything from the loss of life in their premises. Disappointingly, no change had occurred whatsoever. I was a stranger, did not live in that building, and yet I could easily, unchallenged, go to the roof via the lift, and do whatsoever, I wanted. No learning from mistakes-that is the story of India. In another instance, a 14 year old was found dead at 8PM on the premises of an apartment with high rise buildings in Dwarka, New Delhi. Investigations showed that he had jumped off the terrace, within a few minutes of having been scolded by his father over his poor focus on studies. Regrettable, yes. Preventable, I believe so.
4. Lock away and hide out of sight any firearms there are in the house.
5. Be supportive, reassure and do not criticise. Never, say ‘snap out of it’.