The stress of waiting for news on their loved ones has pushed some relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight to mull suicide, reported ABC News, quoting a psychologist who has been counselling Chinese families in Beijing.
Paul Yin, a volunteer grief counsellor for the relatives gathered at the Lido Hotel, said desperation for information had led to such thoughts, adding that some had been hospitalised due to this.
"Many of the family members start to lean towards one way or another. Some are leaning towards accepting that their loved ones are not coming back.
"Others are just holding on to any kind of rumours, or conspiracy theory that may convince them that the passengers may be alive," Yin told ABC News.
He described them as being on an emotional rollercoaster as pieces of information emerge on the missing jetliner.
The announcement that debris might have been spotted in the southern part of the Indian Ocean was just the latest in a series of news which "shattered their nerves", pushing some to accept that the plane had crashed.
"That’s when the emotions just poured out.
“Elderly people with heart conditions and asthma were passing out and we had to call in ambulances," Yin told ABC News.
Yin is particularly concerned about elderly relatives, adding that some had made specific suicide plans.
"In the Chinese culture, when a person gets to a certain age, the meaning of life is about your grandchildren – your legacy.
"So when that is taken away, it is difficult for some of them to think of a reason to live, a reason to stay around," the US broadcaster quoted Yin as saying.
He said the healing process could only begin for the families once there was a closure to the missing plane saga.
But healing requires stable emotions, and now is not the time, said Yin. – March 22, 2014.