Indonesia was shocked when a news about a man, who was married to his wife for 13 years, committed suicide in his own house went viral. According to tirto.id, an Indonesian online newsletter, he committed suicide after his wife left him with his children. The worse part about this tragedy is how people reacted to it. They called him an attention seeker, he is overreacting, he is weak, he will go to hell and tell him to hang himself faster.
These kinds of reactions are what happening in Indonesia. The patient in the mental health hospital will get chained and treated poorly. The people who don’t go to the mental health hospital will be discriminated by the society. In fact, if we googled the keyword ‘mental health in Indonesia’, the first page will be about how bad the patient of the mental illness got treated. Organizations and newsletters like Human Rights Watch, The Guardian, The Huffington Post UK, and The Independent UK already cover those horrifying truths.
Besides the names and the accusations that society gives to the people with mental illness, some of them still believe that they have that mental illness because they do not believe in God or because they are possessed by a ghost. They will not go to find a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but they will find a shaman that they believe will ‘cure’ that person. They do not realize that mental illness is a serious problem.
People from such a young age will be told by their parents to ‘get over it’ and ‘pray’ if they have depression or anxiety. People will easily romanticizing mental illness and said they got insomnia just because they sleep at 1 a.m ot depression just because they are crying one time. It is sad to know that it is the reality in Indonesia. People need to realize how hard it is suffering from a mental illness. They are reaching for help not because they are exaggerating, attention seeker, or scary, but because they need treatments to help them fight the battle inside their own body.