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The top 5 most stressful professions and their link to suicide

Stress and trauma are intertwined with mental illness. When coupled with depression they can lead to an extreme reaction like suicide. Some professions are just more exposed to suicide – either as a result of high stress or risk or easy access to means of suicide. Here are the top 5 most stressful professions and their link to suicide:

 1  Farmers

Nearly 11% of all suicides in 2012 were farmer suicides in states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. With unseasonal rains, failed crops and lack of timely intervention or infrastructural help leading to a mountain of debt, there is no doubt that farmers are exposed to suicides due to their heightened financial distress.

 2  Police/Army

The Armed Forces and the police who have faced extremely tough situations like wars, riots and the breakdown of law and order are often in the line of fire. This exposure to violence can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some estimates peg the rate of PTSD at almost 25% for Indian soldiers. One of the side effects of PTSD can be suicidal thoughts.

 3  Doctors/Nurses

Doctors and nurses lead stressful lives, compounded with lack of sleep, erratic work hours, life or death work situations, and easy access to pharmaceuticals and instruments that can end a life. Estimates say that doctors and allied medical professionals witness the highest incidence of suicides as a result of this mix of factors.

 4  Finance/Management

When a professional is handling a million-dollar deal or a company that is worth crores of rupees, there is inherent stress in the profession. When you add drug abuse, poor health or financial irregularities to the mix, a vicious cycle can emerge where suicide seems like the easy way out for stressed, debt-ridden, or depressed professionals in finance or senior management.

 5  Artist

Artists create great art out of sensitivity and passion, and the feelings/ emotions that make great art can also be the cause of mental anguish. This emotional fragility when coupled with financial desperation or personal problems could make some artists susceptible to suicide.

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