Jun 11, 2018
It takes guts and plenty of courage to move away to a new country, however after the initial novelty wears off it can leave individuals who are unprepared with issues they may not have bargained for.
Often times people are oblivious to the fact that not because they move around in the same circle it doesn’t mean they are automatically ‘one of the guys’ or a part of the gang; not because they belong to the same online community or social group doesn’t mean they are considered any more than the ordinary; not because they follow someone online or vice versa it doesn’t mean that they are thought of or held in any regard.
Most often they are only remembered or noticed when they write a post that someone likes or when some one of ‘their’ friends like something theyshare or like and it shows up in the feed.
What am I getting at?
Has anyone noticed how prevalent suicide has become and how nonchalant and incensed we have become towards it? So much so that whenever we hear of a case we may express sympathy or condolences if we know who it is but then doesn’t miss a beat in our daily activities .
Has anyone else noticed that the number one contributing factor to this malignant means-to-an-end is depression?
Depression can affect anyone. Clearly it is no respecter of wealth, social status, gender, race ..... no one is exempt from it. And the worst part to it is that anyone can be living with or going through it without anyone being aware. This is why it is important for each of us to try and be our brother or sister’s keeper- especially us who would have moved away from our home countries and perhaps lack the cushion of family and old friendships that were probably stabilizers in our lives. With a change of country there-can be relationship-issues, job security problems, money problems, loneliness- and that’s just scratching the surface of a myriad of factors.
NHS, UK noted that “Different causes can often combine to trigger depression. For example, you may feel low after being ill and then experience a traumatic event, such as a bereavement, which brings on depression.” This May even start a downward spiral that eventually lead the person to taking his/ her life because of the feeling of not being able to cope.
There are several ways we can help each other especially expats- start with those in your social groups. Reach out! Be neighborly! Get to know those who live around you. Offer a helping hand. Be a friend ; Provide a listening ear. Ask how you may help- you might just be surprised. And if professional help is needed there are several to which you may refer someone.
Tokyo mental health has a lot of resources
Tell japan is also helpful
Resources are available. Let us be each other’s keeper. Let’s look out for each other.
Hi! I’m an educator/stay-at-home mom with an educator husband, a teenage daughter and six months old son. I loooove to cook, gets excited about curries and have a serious weakness for pastry especially cakes! Enjoy being outdoors, reading and sewing.
Thanks for writing this. It's hard to talk about mental health, but these days I'm hearing about it so much more. There are so many factors (being indoors too much, diet, work stress, etc.) related to our mental health in addition to genetic factors. It's good if the stigma attached to talking about it goes away so we can share and help each other.
@helloalissa thank you foryour comment. Recently I was so disappointed when I read a commentary saying that ‘following the recent deaths of two american celebrity, the issue of suicide has been brought to the fore.’ I found it veey distasteful of the media. So many “ordinary” persons have taken their own lives because they couldnt cope and to make it worse media just gloss over them if at all acknowledged but just as a handful of “important” people are affected its a crisis to be looked into. Ordinary people do need help too. Even in small measures.
It can be tough being an expat! Loneliness has been something that I've struggled with at times during the journey of living here in Japan, so I loved what you said about getting out, meeting people, and trying to be neighborly. It definitely helps!