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Harsh Vardhan shares blog on depression posted by AIIMS doctor who committed suicide

In a Medium blog put up last month, Dr Anurag Kumar said he was diagnosed with severe depression and has been looking for options to kill himself.

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed grief over the alleged suicide of a 25-year-old AIIMS junior doctor, who was working in the department of psychiatry.

“Shocked & distressed to hear of the painful death of young & most brilliant Dr Anurag Kumar, Junior Resident at AIIMS Delhi. He was under treatment for severe depression for sometime now & took away his own life. My heart bleeds for his family. Condolences to them & his colleagues,” he wrote on Twitter Friday.

Dr Kumar died after he allegedly jumped off the 10th floor of the doctors’ hostel in AIIMS Friday evening. According to police, no suicide note has been found. 

Vardhan also shared a blog post written by Dr Kumar on 21 June in which he talked about his struggles with depression and tendencies to end his life.

“Swept by tears as I read young Dr Anurag Kumar’s blog sent to me by a doctor friend. I feel very strongly. This self-annihilation must be stopped at any cost! Rest in Peace My Son!,” the Health Minister wrote.  

Dr Kumar had posted about his depression on Medium.

A doctor from the AIIMS department of psychiatry, who didn’t wish to be named, told ThePrint: “Anurag was suffering from depression but was extremely vocal about his condition and spoke about mental health, so he wrote his blog talking about depression.” 

The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association tweeted Friday, saying: “This is very unfortunate that today we have lost one of our colleague who was suffering from mental illness.He died of suicide on the background of his illness. He was a brilliant mind both in academics and co-curricular activities.”

Also read: Lancet study finds stroke, depression, anxiety in both young and old Covid patients

The blog

In the blog titled, ‘A psychiatry trainee’s struggle with depression’, Dr Kumar talked about how his depression started and how he began looking for options to end his life. He also talked about how he felt “empty and low” despite getting a good rank in the AIIMS postgraduate entrance test.

At AIIMS, the junior resident was diagnosed with a “severe depressive episode”.

“In February, I lost all hopes and started looking for suicide options. I considered jumping from the tenth floor of my hostel, but was too afraid of residual paralysis if I survived. I am overweight and hanging would have been difficult with the fragile hostel fan. Finally, I stumbled across a website that was providing bulk quantity poison and alas! I paid my hard-earned internship money to them,” he wrote. 

He mentioned communicating about this to a friend-cum-colleague who got him admitted in the same ward where he was working on 15 February. He was kept in the isolation ward for a week and diagnosed with a “severe depressive episode”.

“Initial few days were good, but I again deteriorated and bought shaving blades to cut my carotid on 2nd March when I was admitted again only to be discharged 45 days later in April,” Dr Kumar wrote. 

This time he stayed in the general bed for a few days before being shifted to an isolation room enabled him to get a “broader perspective of life in a psychiatry ward”, he wrote.

“You get to see only illnesses in medicine ward; you get to see a mini society in psychiatry ward where patients stay for longer periods,” he added. 

He also talked about how falling into depression gave him a way to “teach” his relatives that depression could happen without any major stressor and that severe depression cannot be treated without medicines. 

Also read: Discuss depression, anxiety disorders openly so that people can seek help: Centre tells states


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