Suicide Tsunami in Iran, Beyond Disaster
A glance at the increasing trend of suicide in Iran
Iran’s increasing trend of suicide among different social classes, including group suicides, carried out by people of all ages, has turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. The victims of most of these suicides are in the country’s deprived western and southern provinces, such as Ilam, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Hamedan, and Khuzistan. Women and young people, and even children have become the victims of this cruel phenomenon.
According to the state-run Khabar Online website, “suicide rates in Iran are increasing in an astonishing way.”
“From 2011 to 2015, suicide rates increased 66% amongst women and 71% amongst men”, Khabar online wrote.
“For years now, the media have not been given stats when it comes to suicide rates as relevant organizations refuse to publish them”, the website added.
The report also says that suicide rates are also very high among young people.
Although relevant authorities do not publish accurate reports of suicide rates or deaths from it, the spread of this catastrophe is such that government officials call it an “epidemic”.
Our reports indicate that the current suicide rates in Iran are the outcome of extreme socioeconomic problems which have put severe pressure on Iranians.
According to an expert in the Iranian regime, the increased number of public suicide attempts among teens, young people and women stems from the fact that they want to protest the current situation which is driving the society towards depression meaning that it’s a form of public outcry.
He also acknowledged the many contradictions in society, which has led to a social identity crisis.
Last December, the Head of the Medical Sciences Burn Research Center at Iran University noted the rise in self-immolation in Iran saying that “the number of people who attempted to commit self-immolation has increased.”
Meanwhile, Hadi Ayazi, the Social Deputy Minister of Health, cited the increase in aluminum phosphide consumption as a means for suicide.
“The Ministry has urged the Judiciary to take more serious control measures for the purchase of aluminum phosphide.”
According to Ayazi, the Ministry also provided a report on the suicide outbreak, but details of the report have not been disclosed.
What has made this phenomenon more catastrophic in Iran is that suicide is no longer a personal issue. In some social sectors, particularly among the low-income strata, suicide has turned into an ongoing trend.
Isfahan’s Chamran Bridge has turned into a site for this tragedy, dubbed “the serial suicides” by Iran media.
In an August 15 piece, the state-run ISNA News Agency acknowledged the increase in suicide among the people of Isfahan saying that “several suicides have been committed on this bridge over a year”.
“A shopkeeper who owns a shop close to the bridge told ISNA on the condition of anonymity that people suspect anyone standing on the bridge of wanting to commit suicide”, the report said.
On the occasion of September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), Iran Human Rights Monitor briefly studies the alarming dimensions of suicide among all social sectors in Iran.
Poverty and unemployment driving Iranians to suicide
The main causes of suicide in Iran are poverty and unemployment. Reports indicate that 11 out of 15 suicide cases were due to financial reasons.
State media also state that suicide rates are heavily affected by economic issues.
The state-run Khabar Online on August 28, stipulated that economic problems were the main reason for increasing suicide numbers, saying that “elements that have aggravated (suicide numbers) have increased especially in recent years in 2017-2018.”
“The most important of these is the condition of the economy which has left the society with severe abnormalities.”
“As such, a higher rate of suicide and special forms of it are to be expected”, the website added.
On September 12, a man who set himself ablaze outside Tehran municipality was pronounced dead at Tehran’s Motahhari Hospital. He has set himself ablaze a week before, outside the Tehran’s municipality building after his store was closed down by agents of Tehran’s District 2 municipality.
On September 4, a married couple with two children, Reza Sahrayi and Vida Rostami, committed suicide together as a result of unemployment and financial difficulties in Ilam, western Iran. Notably, one of their children suffers from diabetes.
On September 7, a worker from Urmia, northwest Iran, committed suicide early in the morning before his children woke up.
On the morning of February 27, the dead body of Ali Naghadi, a young employee of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Compaدy, was found afloat in a canal. It is said that Naghadi committed suicide due to his debts as the company refused to pay his wages.
Women suicides soar
According to officially announce reports, more than 3,300 women committed suicide in Iran last year. The shocking new figures on suicides in Iran was revealed for the first time by one of the deputies of Iran’s Ministry of Sports and Youth.
In light of the Iranian regime’s lack of transparency and government agencies’ failure to accurately register data, actual figures are much higher.
Mohammad Mehdi Tondgooyan, the Deputy for Youth Affairs at the Ministry of Sports and Youth, announced on August 19, that the suicide rate in Iran was estimated at 4,992 suicides in the (Persian) year ending in March 2018.
On women’s suicides, Tondgooyan said that the “rate of attempted suicides in women was about two thirds, and one third in men,” implying that nearly 3,300 women committed suicide in Iran in the period of only one year, which amounts to 9 women per day.
Women commit suicide twice as much as men according to state-run media outlets. Furthermore, 40% of all suicides involve self-emulation. Currently, women in Iran have the highest number of self-emulations in the Middle East. (Jahan-e San’at daily – January 17, 2016).
Pointing to an increase in suicide rates among women, Amir Mahmoud Harirchi, an expert in this field who spoke to the state-run ILNA News Agency, said that “suicide is turning feminine.” (ILNA news agency, October 27, 2017)
Suicide prevalence in children
“On average, the country has a high suicide rate in two age ranges. Between 25 to 34 years, as well as among those above 35 years of age. Most suicides occur in these two age ranges, but it has been a few years that children under the age of 17 also commit suicide”, Mohammad Mehdi Tondgooyan said. (The state-run Etemad Online news agency – August 20, 2018)
“According to the latest figures, 212 children under the age of 17 have committed suicide in the country”, he added.
In a shocking case, a 12-year-old boy committed suicide recently by hanging himself after his mother was forced to sell his bike to pay for rent.
Over the past five months alone, 14 girls under 18 have committed suicide in Iran’s Kurdistan Province and have ended their lives.
Depression, mental disorders and suicide
Iran is among the top 10 in the world in terms of depression.
The Director of the Welfare Organization’s Performance Management Office said that people turned to suicide due to the critical social conditions in Iran adding that the society was “not promising” in this regard.
“Our country suffers from a low level of social satisfaction, happiness, and trust. Sadness and a large number of mental disorders in a society show that there’s a lack of social happiness. Under such conditions, it’s no surprise that it bears social consequences, and suicide is one of them”, Mousavi Chalek added.
According to the Ministry of Health’s spokesman, on average, 23.4% of the adult population in the country has suffered from some kind of a mental disorder over the course of a year. In Tehran, this rate was 30.2%, meaning that out of every three people, one suffers from a mental disorder. (Eghtesad News, April 17, 2018)
According to our reports, a young man who recently took his own life posted a video of himself prior to his suicide, saying, he is tired of life.