Valentine’s Day has always been an occasion for young couples to enjoy a romantic moment together, such as, eating out and exchanging lovely gifts.
However, this year the Ministry of Education has issued a notice instructing all public and private educational institutions to take measures to prevent their pupils from “immorality”.
This is to be done by ensuring students do not have a mistaken notion of the traditionally Western holiday and tarnish the reputation of their family by engaging in activities contrary to Cambodian culture and tradition.
Premarital sex is a topic that draws very different opinions amongst Cambodians. With tomorrow considered “the most dangerous day” for young people in the Kingdom, hence I want to discuss young and love and its dark side.
It is not unusual at this time of year to come across media reports on suicides or self-harm committed by jilted or broken-hearted youngsters in the country. However, young love and suicide are the two most sensitive and least discussed topics in the Kingdom.
According to the latest WHO data in 2017, recorded suicides accounted for 2.2% or 1,857 of total deaths in Cambodia, ranking the nation 41 in the world.
According to Psychology Today, researchers have identified relationship problems as the most attributable cause for suicide deaths.
Therefore, young people must handle their relationships with caution and care, with this being especially true for those who lack real-life experience.
Losing a relationship can be an acutely painful experience. You may have a strong feeling of loneliness because your significant other is no longer with you.
When you find yourself continually thinking about all the good times you had with them, you can lose your appetite and find it impossible to have a good sleep. Physically, you may even find it hard to breathe and perform daily tasks.
I can understand this feeling perfectly because once even I considered committing suicide after losing my first girlfriend, with whom I had spent two good Valentine Day’s with 8 years ago in a traffic accident.
So what convinced me to give up that thought?
Thanks went to my family and my close friends, who kept reminding me how important I am to them. Assuming that death is nothing but eternal darkness, you might not feel anything, but those who love you would have to suffer from grief and despair.
They could feel the guilt and blame themselves for the rest of their lives if they lost you. Worse, it is also possible that some of them could not stand losing you and decide to “go after” you. Instead of a solution to your problem, suicide is a stigma with long-term and dynamic effects.
In my story, death took away the one I loved.
But do you think it is appropriate to give up your life for a cold-heart person who treats you badly or abandons you?
Everyone makes mistakes and meeting him or her, technically, was one of the mistakes in your life and a lesson that should teach you to look for the right person in life.
According to Dr Ka Sunbaunat, a prominent Cambodian psychiatrist, and a former dean at the University of Health Sciences. The most powerful way to remove the stigma of suicide is to raise awareness and openly discuss mental health.
You have to learn about the differences between a healthy and bad relationship, especially since the latter raises a person’s risk of suicide, Dr Sunbaunat explains.
However back to my story, I am now happily married, expecting a baby girl and doing well in a job that I am passionate about. If I had taken my own life 8 years ago, I would not have any of this.
Therefore my advice is when you are thinking about committing suicide try not to think about all the things that you should have done and remind yourself how important you are to those who love you.
Charles Dicken, one of the most well-known writers of all time, once said, “The broken heart. You think you will die, but you keep living, day after day after terrible day.”
Remember you can always find solutions to your problems, a new partner, more goals and missions for your life, as long as you are still living.
- Tags: Valentine’s Day