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Mental health

This week has been a somber one on the contrary of the beautiful weather we have been experiencing here in the Low Lands. Monday started with my husband receiving a text that his football mate (age 35) passed away. He ended his own life due to depression and a broken relationship.

Tuesday, succesful US fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead of apparent suicide due to depression in her apartment. She was 51 years old. The day after Dutch queen’s sister, Argentinian psychologist was found dead in her Buenos Aires home. Inés Zorreguieta, 33, suffered from depression and anorexia nervosa.

During lunchtime last Friday, news broke that US celebrity chef, tv personality and author Anthony Bourdain, 61,  was found dead of apparent suicide in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France. Bourdain never hid his past being addicted to hard drugs. He drank and smoked throughout his TV-series.

I don’t know all four of them personally but I feel the need to write about how important it is to find balance in our mental and physical health. Most of us focus on getting/maintaining physical health. In a number of cases this could lead to strong mental health. However some of us are more vulnerable for mental issues. While it is normal and better to get professional help. Taking care for your mental health is normal, just like physical health. There is unfortunately still a taboo regarding mental illness.

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background

After Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both high-profile figures, people have started to spread awareness online. Stories and experiences dealing with depression, addiction and other mental illness are passing the timeline until the very hour I am writing this post. What I have been noticing  also that most articles in the media end with information of hotline for suicide prevention. This is a good cause. Genuinely I am wondering now how this awareness spreads offline.

I have had colleagues, friends, relatives who battled burnout, depression, eating disorders. Based on what I have heard from them there are personal demons one needs to battle in a very dark place. When someone we know fight a mental illness, what we can do is reach out. Offering a listening ear, accompanying to a session with a therapist or just taking care of them. If they ask you to leave them alone, respect that. Monitor how they are doing with mutual friends. Let them know you are there for them.

Featured image is from Freepik.

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16 thoughts on “Mental health

  1. Kaget juga pas tau soal Anthony Bourdain dan Kate Spade itu.. Kesehatan mental kadang kurang diperhatikan karena mungkin memang tidak selalu terlihat seperti kesehatan fisik ya.. Beberapa waktu yg lalu koleganya suamiku ada yg bunuh diri juga.. Beberapa orang di inner circle-ku ada juga yg pernah mengalami gangguan kesehatan mental ini.. Di Australia kesehatan mental ini sangat diperhatikan.. Di Indonesia mungkin belum terlalu diperhatikan..Ada temanku di Indonesia yg mencurahkan sebagian waktunya untuk kegiatan filantrop mengurus orang yg punya masalah kesehatan mental tapi ditelantarkan oleh keluarganya.. BTW, kejadian adiknya ratu Belanda itu ironis ya, dia kan psikologis tapi ternyata punya masalah kesehatan mental yg tak kalah rumitnya..

  2. So heartbroken to hear the news, but glad it’s starting a conversation that we sorely need. I remember these words by a blogger, Megan Gilbride, ‘We live in a world where everyone can sympathize with a broken leg, but not a broken mind.’ So sad, but so true. I’m really hoping this will change soon.

    • Attempts to raising awareness of mental illnesses have been going the past years. I do hope there would be more understanding about this.

  3. Tahun lalu aku jadi saksi orang terdekat ku punya masalah dengan kesehatan mental. Bolak balik kami ke rumah sakit dan untungnya sekarang dia udah stabil, walaupun tetep kontak dengan begeleider di rumah sakit. Sejak saat itu aku jadi lebih vokal tentang kesehatan mental dan menganggap menjaga kesehatan mental itu bukan hal yang tabu.

    • Kita tinggal di Belanda udah ngga tabu sih dan memang perawatan di sini bagus. Cuma di Indonesia dan di beberapa negara lainnya masih perlu perhatian.

      • Di Indonesia, sekalinya ada yang ngaku punya gangguan mental, pasti disuruh “lebih dekat ke agama”. Trus masih ada stigma kalo gangguan mental = sakit jiwa. Sayang ya 😦

  4. Tulisan yang sangat mewakili, mbak Yoyen. Prihatin dan menyesalkan dengan kejadian yang berlangsung. Bunuh diri yg dilakukan org terkenal bisa jadi inspirasi berantai. Membangun awareness kesehatan kejiwaan menurutku penting, tapi itu masih belum cukup krn baru awal sekali. Di step berikutnya, perlu motivasi dan kemauan besar dari pasien. Banyak yg berhenti di tengah jalan…atau pilih “jalan pintas” Itu saja yang mau datang ya. Kita tdk bisa berbuat apa2 bagi yg tdk punya motivasi. Setidaknya dari semua itu jadi bisa menyimpulkan sesuatu.

    • Ya kan ini untuk awalnya, memang ngga cukup tapi perlu waktu. Awareness dan pengertian itu udah bagus untuk memulai. Apalagi di Indonesia yang akses ke perawatan untuk mental illness ini mungkin belum tersedia untuk semua orang ya.

  5. Setuju mbak. Mental health awareness emang harus sering digaungkan. Bukan semata dijudge “kurang beriman sih” or “kurang banyak ibadah” atau yang semacam itu. Trus bukan setelah ada kejadian masih aja di judge “wah pasti masuk neraka nih”. Well, we’re not on their shoes. Mungkin hidup mereka sendiri sudah terasa seperti neraka.
    Mendekatkan diri dengan Pencipta memang jadi salah satu faktor, tapi menurutku ga semata itu, banyak faktor lain. 😣

  6. “Genuinely I am wondering now how this awareness spreads offline”

    While there are tons of awareness regarding mental illness online, it is rarely seen offline. I personally barely hear someone talking about this matter in real life. And to make it worse, lots of people even make fun or gossiping about someone who got through suicidal attempt.

    Moreover, the one who spread motivational quote of how not to do suicide, usually is the one who’s suffering from it.

    • That is why I am wondering because I live in a country where access to mental illness treatments is for everyone and the awareness is there. I wonder how it is offline in Indonesia, is it only present in the urban areas?

  7. That’s really very saddening. Also look at Avicii’s and recently Rick Genest case. Both of them took their lives due to an unstable mind and due to which they couldn’t think straight. In the quest of developing biceps people are forgetting mental health which is really vital.
    I’ve mentioned very similar views on my recent post on Mental Health. Looking for your views. Here’s the link: http://thesoultalks10.com/mental-health-ways-to-cure-mental-health/

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