THE NUMBER of suspected suicides for the year so far could be the result of a social phenomenon gripping the society.
Clinical psychologist Dr Marcus Lashley made the comment yesterday as Barbados recorded another suspected suicide death over the weekend. Dead is 24-year-old Shari Olivia Clarke of Pillersdorf Drive, Grazettes, St Michael.
Clarke reportedly ingested a poisonous liquid that claimed her life last Saturday morning.
The university graduate is believed to be the sixth person so far this year to have taken their own life.
“Once one person does it, then you will find that the number for some reason tend to escalate. We don’t understand why it happens, but it’s one of those things that once it starts in a community it just continues,”?Lashley told the DAILY NATION.
The psychologist said it was extremely difficult to narrow down what could have triggered such a number of suicides in less than two months of the year.“People opt for suicide and very often they have in their own mind exhausted all of the other options. Suicide still is for many people a last resort and they commit suicide because they don’t see any other option.
“In a sense they say to themselves death is better than what I am going through in life; let me step off the treadmill of life in order to be away from the extreme pain that I am feeling, ” he added.
According to Lashley, victims were faced with such hopelessness and “they cannot rationally arrive at alternatives or a way out”.
Clarke’s death follows the suspected suicides of two men over the past two weeks.
Sean Raymond Leach, 40, of No. 7 Garden Gap, Worthing, Christ Church, was found hanging in his bedroom two Saturdays ago. The unemployed man was discovered by his father David Leach.
Also believed to have taken his own life two days prior to that was 22-year-old Theo Toppin, who jumped into the Careenage and apparently drowned.
The young painter of 3rd Avenue, Friendship Drive, St Michael, had earlier been involved in an incident outside his former girlfriend’s home.