Friday, July 07, 2006

Experts: Depressed may copy suicide scenes

Star: PETALING JAYA: Suicide scenes in movies can influence those facing serious depression to take similar action, according to experts here.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Psychology and Human Development Education Centre chairman Assoc Prof Dr Arifin Zainal said it mattered little if there was a moral lesson behind the scene, as the depressed person would only see the suicide and not the message behind it.
“When faced with serious depression, people become desperate for a way to get out of their misery and will accept any suggestion, including suicide, to overcome it,” he said.
He added that it was human nature to learn through observation and in a depressed state, the mind would imitate what it perceived to be the solution to a crisis.
He was commenting on a call by Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Datuk G. Palanivel to the Censorship Board to cut out suicide scenes in Indian movies.
Palanivel, who was concerned over reel scenes turning into real-life tragedies, had made the statement after M. Sanggita, 30 and her two young daughters were run over by a train.
Dr Arifin said there were adequate agencies and non-governmental organisations offering counselling, but there was a lack of publicity on their existence.
“Some have been around for decades but many people still do not know how to get in touch with them.”
Yayasan Sosial Strategik executive director Dr Denison Jayasooria said suicide scenes, frequently portrayed in Indian movies, subtly sent a negative message.
“Some movies show young people committing suicide because of marital or family problems or when they face objections to marrying the partner of their choice.”
He said young people needed to be resilient and stand firm in the face of a crisis and not to look for an easy way out as shown in some movies.

No comments: