Battling depression, AIIMS Delhi junior doctor jumps off 10th floor of hostel, dies

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New Delhi, Jul 10 () A 25-year-old junior resident doctor at AIIMS, studying to specialise in psychiatry, died here on Friday after he jumped from the tenth floor of a hostel, police said.

The victim, identified as Anurag Kumar, was battling depression for over eight months.

He used to live in the doctors' hostel and allegedly jumped from its tenth floor around 5 pm, a senior police officer said. Advertisement

"He was shifted to the AIIMS casualty where he succumbed to injuries. Inquest proceedings have been initiated," Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said.

Anurag Kumar had shared his struggle with depression on his blog on June 21 and said in February, he started feeling suicidal and began looking for options to end his life. He was diagnosed with severe depressive episode.

The blog was also shared by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Twitter.

Vardhan also expressed anguish over the death of Kumar.

"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. 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!" Vardhan tweeted. Advertisement

From jumping from the tenth floor of his hostel to hanging himself, Kumar weighed all options.

"Finally I stumbled across a website that was providing bulk quantity poison and alas! I paid my hard earned internship money to them," he said in his blog.

When a friend-cum-colleague came to know about it, Kumar was immediately admitted to the same ward where he was working. Advertisement

He was kept in an isolation ward and was discharged in a week.

"Initial few days were good, but I again deteriorated and bought shaving blades to cut my carotid on March 2 when I was admitted again only to be discharged 45 days later in April," he said.

This time, he stayed for a few days in general bed before being shifted to isolation room. This enabled him to get a broader perspective of life in a psychiatry ward, Kumar wrote on his blog. Advertisement

This time he stayed for a few days in general bed before being shifted to Isolation room, which enabled him to get a "broader perspective of life in a psychiatry ward". This was also when a country-wide lockdown was imposed.

"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 described his stay in the ward.

However, post lockdown, the number of patients reduced from 31 to just 8, he said, adding that nurses stopped coming and many of his friends went back causing him significant distress. Advertisement

He, was however, discharged upon which he distributed chocolates in the ward and resumed his duty the next day.

"Although I missed multiple academic activities and OPDs, I am sure that my experience in ward will help me become a better psychiatrist," he said. AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) Adarsh Pratap Singh said Kumar was suffering from mental illness and was on medication. Advertisement

"Mental health is of utmost important in this era of cut-throat competition and the ongoing and everlasting race for success. Social stigma related to mental health must be discouraged in this modern world, since it its treatable and the associated grievous consequences are preventable," Singh said in a statement.

On Monday, a 37-year-old journalist undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the AIIMS Trauma Centre had also died after allegedly jumping off the fourth floor of the hospital building.

An AIIMS probe into the alleged suicide by the journalist did not find any mala fide intent behind his death or any lapses in the treatment protocol, Union Minister Vardhan said on Friday. NIT CK

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