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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 143-147

Psychological distress in survivors of farmers' suicides in drought prone Aurangabad and Jalna Districts of Marathwada region in Maharashtra, India

Department of Psychiatry, MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arun Vishwambhar Marwale
Department of Psychiatry, MGM Medical College, N-6, CIDCO, Aurangabad - 431 003, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_29_19

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Background: Survivors of suicide experience psychological distress for years after suicide. In India, farmers' suicide survivors are special group, with unique set of stressors. There are very few studies examining this group in India. The objective was to assess psychological distress and its correlates in survivors of farmers' suicides. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study from two districts of Marathwada region of Maharashtra. A predesigned and pretested semi-structured questionnaire to assess sociodemographic variables was used. Self-reporting questionnaire-20 was administered to evaluate psychological distress in 93 survivors of farmers' suicides. Standard descriptive statistics (percentages, means, and Chi-square test) were used. Results: Female-to-male ratio was 2.8:1. Majority (76%) survivors were young adults and 97.8% were from rural area. Most survivors assessed in study were spouse (68.8%) followed by parents (9.6%), siblings (2.2%), progeny, and others (19.35%) of suicide victims. Of all survivors, 75% were doing farming, while rest had other sources of income in addition to farming. Out of 93 survivors, 81.7% of survivors were experiencing significant psychological distress. Twenty-eight percent survivors themselves had thought of ending their life during 1 month prior to assessment. Most commonly, distress was expressed through somatic symptoms and depressed mood. There was no significant correlation of psychological distress with age, sex, occupation, and place of residence of survivors. There was no significant correlation between psychological distress and relationship of survivor with suicide victim. Conclusions: Survivors of farmers' suicides are suffering from significant psychological distress. Suicide ideation was present in significant number of them. The current situation needs urgent psychological intervention to alleviate their suffering.

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