This article is about politicians who were unsuccessful in being elected suffering from an aftermath-losing their sanity. This article shows how losing an election can affect mental health which is common among politicians.
I felt that this was an interesting article as I never knew losing an election will cause such a dire consequence. Most people stereotype politicians to be ‘power-hungry’ and assume politicians view the elections as a platform to further their influence. This article is an eye opener to me and it shows me that there is a different side to politicians.
When losing the election can also cost you your sanity
Shortly after Indonesia’s general election campaign started on March 16, a man turned up at the Marzoeki Mahdi Hospital here to be treated for depression.
He told doctors he could not bear to see or be near the party flags and posters of candidates that had gone up on trees and along the roads of this city, some 80km south of Jakarta.
They reminded him of the trauma he had suffered in 2009, when he lost not only his bid for a national Parliament seat but also his house and a fortune in campaign spending.
The man was hospitalised for a month, head nurse Siti Noor Triana told The Straits Times.
“He lashed out at anyone who told him he was a patient. He kept saying he had just had an important meeting on some proposed draft Bill. He thought he was an MP,” she recalled.
The man cannot be named for reasons of patient confidentiality.
With vote-counting for Wednesday’s election under way and results starting to trickle in, several mental health institutions, including this hospital, are anticipating similar election-related trauma cases.
More than 200,000 candidates from 12 national parties are vying for nearly 20,000 seats – in the 560-seat national Parliament, 33 provincial and 497 district and city assemblies, and also the 132-seat regional representative council in Jakarta. The failure rate will be very high.
In what is believed to be the first such case this year, a provincial assembly candidate from Sinarancang village in West Java sought help from a local spiritual leader on Thursday after finding out he had won very few votes.
TV footage showed Mr Witarsa, still wearing his Democratic Party jacket, breaking into tears as the cleric doused him with water and recited a prayer for him.
Last month, Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Aljufri urged state hospitals to be ready to treat candidates in distress.
In Jakarta, the Soeharto Heerdjan hospital has set aside 14 rooms for such cases.
Personally, I have never given much thought to how and where politicians will be after they lose their elections. I assume that they will resume their normal businesses and seek other alternatives to spread their influence. However, this article shows me a different side of them, an emotional side. Who would have knew that losing an election would have such a huge emotional impact on them? Politicians spent huge sums of money on their campaigns, and thus after they lose the election, they are not guaranteed a seat in the parliament, making their money ‘unredeemable’. This monetary loss partly attributes to their huge trauma. Another thing that attributes to this is their crushed dream of being elected, accompanied with loss of hope and faith. Their setbacks are recognised nationally, making them feel even more demoralised, causing their mental health to suffer as well. It is appalling to know that hospitals are ready to treat such patients as this shows that suffering from a mental breakdown is inevitable. What are your views? Is it impossible to remain their sanity after losing the election?