Segmentation of Suicides

A lot of conversations have been going on about a suicide of a 15-year old girl from NPS HSR Layout (Bangalore) ‘inspired’ by a suspension from her school over an alleged ‘friendship’ with a male classmate. Now, nobody really knows the truth and they probably never will because one of the main stakeholders is dead and the others are either too distressed, ashamed or shocked to say anything without filter/distortion. Of course, several others including other classmates, their parents, teachers, alumni will have a lot to say that may or may not be without bias. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. The girl is dead. The parents are destroyed. The school is shocked and probably even guilty. For a while Bangaloreans are going to talk about it, pick sides and prioritise this over actress Vaibhavi Jagadish’s character being tarnished over an affectionate peck from superstar Ambarish. But soon, it’ll be history. But, what’s important is what we learn from this.

I am not sure about the others, but I have learnt one thing for sure – The world is full of people who are suicidal (I mean 100% of the world). This is a problem. Can I solve it? I don’t know. But I can surely start by trying to understand this suicidal world at the least. In order to understand this market of suicidal people, it’s important I first segment it –

1. Vanilla ones – People who would’ve considered suicide (in simple words, running away from the situation) at least once in their lives, irrespective of the number of times, seriousness of the thought, etc but do not take this thought to the next level broadly due to two reasons – they either killed the thoughts at its bud or did not have the courage to act on this thought. This segment probably has a market share of 99.9%.

2. Unlucky (Lucky?) ones – People who have either the courage to take the suicidal thought up a notch or the ones who don’t manage to change their minds mid-way (either they couldn’t gather a moment of rationality or didn’t have the timely support of a friend) but are lucky enough to survive the attempt of killing themselves. This segment is probably about 0.08%.Most people do not talk about this since this is an indication of a personal failure (to kill yourself, in this case). So it’s hard to quantify unless we assume 100% of the attempts are reported and 100% of the medical legal cases can be tracked. Hence, the percentage is pulled out of thin air based on sheer optimism.

3. Lucky (Unlucky?) ones – People who have the courage to take the thought up a notch, don’t change their mind mid-way and also have luck (bad, in this case) on their side to be successful at killing themselves. This as you will see from the map below is 0.02% (Statistics are based on the Indian context).

This girl belongs to the 3rd category. She was just as suicidal as any of us. She had just as many issues as any of us. The only difference was that she had the courage to act on the thought and was also unlucky as hell!

Co-suicidal one : May your soul rest in peace, girl!

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