: What’s in the water at Bedok Reservoir and why has it in recent times become for some a final destination?
I don’t know, and I’m not going to attempt a smart jibe about the venue (as I’m wont to do). But what it does highlight is the need to understand depression and mental health.
My wife and I have had friends and acquaintances who’ve suffered from various degrees of depression – and some of the circumstances surrounding them have been similar – they’ve always spoken of how family members cannot understand what they’re going through, and as such, how reticent they’ve been in sharing their condition with people.
At the other end of the spectrum, there was this person who aired her suicidal thoughts online (twitter) and engendered responses of extreme derision. Apparently, she ended up in A&E and was, by some account, suffering from clinically diagnosed depression.
We recently met acquaintances who sounded depressed and troubled, but because they weren’t close to us, we didn’t take the trouble to ask what was eating them. We thought they’d have their own, closer, friends and relatives who’d be in a better position to help.
It troubles us that we could have done something to help people, but haven’t because it’s none of our business.
Perhaps it’s time we learn to make it our business. And offer a helping hand or a listening ear to those in need.
Here’s to wishing everyone health and happiness in the year ahead.
The authorities may have announced their measures in helping to prevent more suicide cases at Bedok Reservoir but we need everyone to play their part in reaching out to help those who are at risk. It takes a concerted effort from the authorities, the community and individual caring Singaporeans to do so. Suicide is rarely a sudden decision and there are often warning signs, so family and friends play a key role. After all, we’re all human and we need to get by with a little help from each other.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms of depression:
- Depressed or low mood
- A loss of interest and enjoyment in life
- A lack of drive or motivation that makes even simple tasks or decisions difficult or impossible
- Feeling tired all the time
- Agitation or restlessness
- Loss or gain in appetite with loss or gain in weight
- Sleeplessness or excessive sleeping
- Loss of self confidence, avoiding people
- Feeling useless, inadequate, helpless or hopeless
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Thoughts of suicide
People also tend to have common misconceptions about depression, including:
- Feeling depressed and uninterested in activities is acceptable in response to other illnesses, or social and financial hardship that accompany ageing
- Depression is a temporary phase and a sign of weakness shown by older adults and can be willed away
- There is not much one can do about depression; it would just pass on
None of this is true and if you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, there are several hotlines and websites below that are available for you to seek help.