Mental health an issue for expats.

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One of the perks of being a stay at home trailing spouse is noticing the beauty amidst the chaos.I have seen this art in a few places around South Jakarta; I just can’t work out what the message is (political I believe)! Very skilful work which brightens up the place a little.

Traffic in Jakarta is notoriously terrible and one of the factors that impacts significantly on mental health of expats living here. Increasingly health professionals are recognising this more and more.  The doctor supporting Embassy staff, their spouses and families here is acutely aware and encourages the mental health break to recharge and unwind due to the pressures of living in a developing country such as Indonesia. Generally speaking, we take leave every 6 weeks on average. This may just be a long weekend or a few weeks an boy does it make a significant difference.

Culture shock is another after the ‘honeymoon’ period wears out it’s welcome. What a rollercoaster ride of emotions! For me, I was anxious and ecstatic to finally be moving to Indonesia to be together with my spouse. Like a holiday at first, I was on a high for a week or so and then like a lead balloon, anxiety set in. What have I done? Why am I here? Can I really do this?

True to the 10 steps of cultural adjustment outlined by Steven Rhinesmith (http://www.studentsabroad.com/handbook/adjustments-and-culture-shock.php?country=general) I went through stage of sheer frustration. Why can’t they stay in their own lane when driving? What’s with stepping into traffic while waving your magic hand? Why can things be more efficient? You do get through this. You do start to accept things as they are in the new country. You do learn to ‘stop messing with the system’ as I like to say. And life does get easier when you learn to let go of the ideals of home.

In the article (link below) ‘Dr Madison said expats will never go back to Australia the same and usually return with a more worldly approach to life. On the whole, they never regret the experience and even feel superior to those who have not undertaken such an adventure.’ Very true, but at what cost during the experience?

http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/exclusive-expat-mental-health-at-risk/

P.S. “pembodohan publik” means duping the public. This is protest art!

@aubergine_jelly : life is what you decide
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