Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Suicide is Contagious

The number of people committing suicides in Indonesia has been increasing in the last few years.

In 2010, 81 cases of suicide were reported to the Jakarta Police. And according to a 2005 survey by the World Heath Organization, around 50,000 people committed suicide in the country every year.

In this regards, The Jakarta Globe has quoted a mental health expert in Jakarta as saying that this increase may have been caused by media coverage of people committing suicides.

Considering the above, I hope that the news media would be more careful in reporting about suicide case.

Photo: Courtesy of PhotoSearch

25 comments:

Jolly Princess said...

I felt sad about this article Harry. I do hope that authorities,concern citizens, and family members would join hands to help this unfortunate souls. Media should also be responsible in reporting a balance story not blowing up on articles thinking only of earning good ratings.

H. Nizam said...

Hi JP,
Yes the increasing numbers of suicide is very alarming. It is very often that we read or heard about suicides.
Like you said, all members of the society must work together to find a way out to stop or minimize.

Meutia Halida Khairani said...

i feel sorry about this article. yesterday i read about people suicide in detik.com
honestly i never know why do they done such a very scary thing to end their life? >_<

H. Nizam said...

Hi Meutia,
It is very sad and unbelievable that someone want to end their life. Let us hope that this year the situation in our country will improve much.

Munir Ardi said...

oh very sad to read about that, life harder, economic problem and many factors, I watched on tv a boy jump from mosque tower what a stupid man

H. Nizam said...

Hi Munir,
The soco-politic-economic situation is getting harder every day, forcing some people to end their lives.
We can only hope that the government would focus on improving the condition very soon.

ReBorn said...

I think media should independent to informing the fact. but the media should choose the words correctly so there are no wrong interpretation by readers.

but I am so curious, which media is 'THE JAKARTA GLOBE' mentioned about?

H. Nizam said...

ReBorn,
The media should double should use correct words and consider many factors before issuing reports to the public.
The Jakarta Globe referred to opinion of the mental health expert as to various reports by the media.
Perhaps you remember two suicides in Jakarta that occurred on the same day at two different malls.
Even this morning a print media wrote about it as a headline.

Furree Katt said...

that's really sad to know!

Kira Permunian said...

It’s really important for parents, teachers and counselors to become familiar with the facts about depression and suicide. When people moods disrupt their ability to function on a day-to day basis, it may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention - depression. Sometimes other people feel so depressed that they consider ending their lives. This really a sad story.

dee said...

Yes I agree with u Harry! I hope that the news media would be more careful in reporting about suicide case, it can affected others to do the same because media just make it to increase their rating without care bout the effect. Suicide is such short think to end life.. what it would be if everyone with simply end their life if found a complicated problem. I believe there is always a way up as long as we're not give up! n keep believe in faith..

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Suicede Glam said...

I think the media that mention by the expert is Tv news since they often show someone suicide in a mall or from a tower. That inspire people to suicide when they are in trouble.

I have feeling to conduct a suicide so many time but when I pass the felling I feel so pool if I do the suicide.

colson said...

It is sad to think that approximately perhaps up 3% of the population may think of committing suicide. And even sadder that about 3% of them may actually do so. These figures apply to my home country and may be slightly different in Indonesia.

I guess some of them may do so because someone else in their family or in group of acquaintances did so recently. And extensive media coverage of suicides may also have some impact. These factors probably will be similar in Indonesia.

However media are messengers and not the cause of their victim's mental instability. Personal and socio-cultural factors relating to the victims, are at the root of suicidal tendencies.

As far as I know, in the long term the impact of newsmedia on the suicide statistics has not (yet) been proven.

H. Nizam said...

@Furred Katt,
Yes it is very sad indeed.

@Kira Pemurnian,

I agree with you that parents, teachers and education counselors should be familiar to the causes of suicides and depression.

Family and other members of society can also help prevent suicides i.e maintaining peace, tranquility and harmony in society. All that can be successful if supported by the media.

@Dee,
Yes there will always be a way out to all the problems in life. Let's hope that from now on the media would support efforts to prevent suicides.

@Suicide Glam,
Thank you for sharing with us about the feeling you have had in the past to commit suicide. This might help those who are on the brink of doing suicide.

@Colson,

The media not be the direct reason why a person want to commit suicide, but extensive media coverage of suicide cases here have inspire others to follow.

If the media are called messengers than in this case they would be messengers of death.

By the way I am very surprised to know that 3% of the people in Holland have suicidal feeling and 3% of them actually do it.

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colson said...

@ Harry: Going by the number 50000 suicides yearly some basic arithmetic shows the Indonesian suicide rate is only 1/4 - 1/5 of the Dutch one.

I can think of two possible explanations.

First: my rude interpretation of Emile Durkheim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89mile_Durkheim#Suicide). Applying his theory could mean West-European secularization and individualism have made people here significantly more vulnerable compared to the still relatively very religious society of Indonesia.

Secondly: the official figures possibly are incomplete. Since suicide in a very religious society is still very much taboo, some ( or many?) suicides may officially be labelled as "natural deaths"

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

I remain to be convinced that the reporting of suicides in the media leads to "copycats" or an significant increase in the numbers.

Perhaps there is an argument to be made that the responsible thing to do is to report suicides and to include a standardised paragraph that provides contact numbers for organisations that can help people in need.

The idea being that there is always hope, there is always someone out there who cares. As I said, I am not convinced that an increase in suicide numbers is a direct result of reporting.

Taking what Colson said a little further perhaps the media is doing a better job of reporting the suicides that do happen rather than choosing not to report them because of the "taboo" nature of suicide from the perspective of religion.

There is probably more to write...

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H. Nizam said...

@Colson,
I agree that compared Holland's 3%, our 50,000 suicide cases a year is much lower. But that was the result of WHO's survey in 2005.
Since then suicide news have been increasing quite rapidly.
In the first one week of 2011 there have already been many reports of suicides.
I believe that suicide is not only taboo for religious people but also for most people. It is an absolute sign of hopelessness, easy surrender, therefore very demotivating.

@Rob,
You are right: " reporting of suicides in the media leads to "copycats" or an significant increase in the numbers."
I agree that the media may report suicides, as long as they report in a way that would not drive depressed people to follow
Perhaps the media could also make suggestion about who to contact whenever a person thinks about committing suicide like you said.
Thank you for your comment.

@Penghuni60,
Thank you for dropping by.

SERBA GRATISAN said...

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H. Nizam said...

Serba Gratisan,
Terima kasih atas kunjungan anda.
Saya sangat mengharga komentar dalam bahasa kita sendiri bahasa Indonesia.

r10 said...

bunuh diri tidak ksatria, setahu aku di jepang warga negaranya yg bunuh diri maka anggota keluarganya dihukum denda 100 juta yen

di indonesia bila hukuman seperti itu diterapkan mungkin akan membuat orang yang bunuh diri berpikir dua kali untuk melakukannya

Aulawi Ahmad said...

Yes I feel sad too hear about that, but suicide could happent to everyone that not have power of faith in they heart...

H. Nizam said...

@R10,
Saya tidak menegtahui hukum di Jepang tentang bunuh diri.
Tapi saya pernah baca bahwa dalam budaya Jepang kuno harakiri: bunuh diri untuk mempertahankan nama baik pribadi maupun negara merupakan sikap ksatria.
Makanya dalam perang dunia kedua pilot pesawat tempur Jepang ditakuti karena mereka melakukan serangan bunuh diri/kamikaze.
Bagi bangsa Indonesia bunuh diri adalah aib karena dilarang oleh semua agama.

@Aulawy,
Yes, people who commit suicide are not strong people.