Indonesian Suicide Rate Alarming

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The suicide rate in Indonesia is deemed high and almost equal to Japan’s, a recent survey revealed.

    In a survey measuring worldwide suicide rate, Indonesia and Japan were ranked ninth with the former seeing an annual suicide figure of approximately 50,000 people from its total citizens of around 220 million.

    Despite being placed in same position, however, the reasons behind the suicides in Japan and Indonesia were poles apart. The Japanese have the Harakiri tradition, where one takes a sharp blade and thrusts it in the stomach as an act of preserving honor as opposed to enduring shame.

    “For instance, if an official is caught to have committed corruption, they would commit suicide to avert shame,” Syamsul Hadi, a psychiatric professor with Universitas Sebelas Maret, told a seminar titled “Increasing Awareness towards Bypolar Dysfunction” yesterday.

    Meanwhile, he added, people committed suicide in Indonesia due to social and economic pressures, with depression being one of the main factors. Syamsul said a person prone to suicide could be detected through a string of behaviors, among them was that they often talked about suicide, death, desperation, helplessness, and worthlessness. He said people with suicidal tendencies were also found saying “It is better if I’m not here” or “I want to get out.”

    During the seminar, Syamsul called on people to recognize the horrid effects of depression, the “wanting to die” feelings, or the acts of testing fate by taking risks leading to death. “For instance, if a person runs through a red light while hundreds of cars are coming from the other side.”

    SHINTA MAHARANI