Depression affects most Indonesians

By NNN-Bernama

Jakarta : The majority of the Indonesian population has suffered depression of some form in the last year, local press said Thursday.

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The latest survey by the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) showed that 94 percent of population in the country was suffering from some form of depression, reported English daily The Jakarta Post.

“This ranges from mild to severe cases of depression,” IDI chairman Fachmi Idris was quoted by China’s Xinhua news agency, as saying.

Fachmi said that among the symptoms of depression were a tendency to violate rules and norms, apathy, withdrawal and a refusal to work.

He said the research was based on the assumption of health as defined by the law on health, which regards health as encompassing physical, mental and social factors.

He also cited the World Health Organization’s definition of health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well- being, and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.”

Since the economic crisis in 1997, Indonesia has seen an increase in depression rates.

The WHO’s regional office reports that suicide is on the rise in Indonesia, whereby from 1997 to 1998, there were 34 suicides in Jakarta.

The suicide rate was 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1997 and 1.8 per 100,000 in 1998, while prior to 1996 the number had been lower.

Fachmi said that the high incidence of depression was aggravated by a lack of access to health care for most of the population.