Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jockey Suicide: Good For Man's Health Tells it Like It Is

Good For Man's Health, commenting on the story of a 28-year-old jockey who recently committed suicide, has had it with reports blaming suicides on peripheral factors.

Maybe I've just become a jerk (very likely), but I'm tired of reading these stories and seeing blame placed on everything except for the society of acceptance toward suicide that exists here.

Read the whole article.

There's a whole lot of different factors that come to bear on Korea's suicide rate, but the fact remains that netizen comments, job strife, competition, debt, accusations of crime, are constantly presented as reasons why somebody chose to commit suicide, when any and all of those problems have other solutions. That suicides are presented as if suicide were the only, or at least one legitimate response to these factors, perpetuates the cycle. In my opinion, the other three biggest factors in perpetuating the tragic suicide culture here are the media's disturbingly attentive coverage of suicides and suicide funerals, ignorance about depression and other mental illnesses, and the fear of being stigmatized for seeking help.

Korea's suicide rate is a tragedy in slow motion.

That's all for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to concur with the ignorance about depression and mental illness. There was a teacher working at our school, who ended up having to pull a runner because he wasn't getting adequate help. When he went to refill his prescription for a fairly mild anti-depressant, the doctors in our area were appalled and refused to give him anything telling him to "be happy" and try exercise. He eventually found an American trained Korean doctor who understood and helped some, but he spiralled down anyway from his reaction to being here. When his doctor recommended he leave the country and be with family, our boss was completely unsympathetic.