Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Taiwan is one of the most densely populated places in the world and it has among the highest suicide rates in Asia

On Monday a comedian, known for his impersonations of the current vice-president of Taiwan, Annette Lu, was discovered to have committed suicide . Of course it was treated as another media feeding frenzy. Every local television news station led with this story.

Even more disturbing is that in the days after, fourteen people tried to commit suicide, in an apparent rash of copy cat suicides, which also seems to happen all too often here in Taiwan.

I was so distressed to the point of fury when I heard about this. It really upsets me when I hear about people so weak in their spirit.

What is it that makes it such a struggle to live (in Taiwan in particular)- tremendous social pressures that result from living in densely populated areas, political instability and uncertainty, alienation in an increasingly urbanized society, economic hardship, or the shame of dealing with or seeking help for psychological illness?

It just strikes me as so ironic that Taiwan is one of the most densely populated places, yet has such a high rate of suicide.


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