In a troubling turn of events, a depressed young girl left a suicide note online before killing herself. Asia One reported that the note was post-dated to appear on a blog 12 hours after the girl’s death. Conflicting opinions have surfaced surrounding the timeline of the suicide and the support available for adolescents with depression.

A Story of Sadness

The girl, whose surname was Ma, was a student, a senior at Jinling Institute of Technology in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Teachers reported that she was pleasant but shy; she had good grades, joked with classmates, and got along with everyone. Apparently, no one realised that Ma was sinking fast, mired in deep depression.

For months, Ma posted her thoughts to her micro blog. Many of the posts dealt with depression, and some even hinted at her suicidal urges. Once she said, “I delete my web history every four hours, in case my mom notices it after my death.” No one addressed her comments about suicide, took the messages seriously, or intervened with much-needed help.

Finally, Ma wrote her final message. “I have depression, so I want to die. There’s no important reason, and you shouldn’t care about my leaving this world. Bye-bye.” She arranged for the message to automatically post to Sina Weibo 12 hours later. Then she hanged herself in her dorm room.

A Delayed Reaction

On Sunday, bloggers on Sina Weibo saw the note appear. Sina Weibo, which monitors its users micro blogs for suicidal posts, called the police immediately. The police and Sina Weibo began to work together to find Ma, while users commented on her micro blog, encouraging her not to kill herself. None of them knew that she was already dead and wouldn’t receive their messages.

On Monday, police confirmed that they had found Ma’s body in her dorm. The Jinling Institute of Technology offered psychological counselling to shocked teachers and friends who had known the girl.

Depression Awareness in China

In China, around 2 percent of the population suffer from depression, although the actual numbers may be higher than reported. Only 10 percent of the patients who are diagnosed follow up and receive professional treatment. The social stigma associated with depression is still strong, and there is not enough awareness for the condition.

Zhang Chun is the director of Nanjing’s Psychological Crisis Intervention Center. She recommends that people in China and throughout Asia familiarise themselves with the warning signs of severe depression. “Signs suggesting that someone may be contemplating a suicide attempt include sudden change of personality, expression of hopelessness and self-criticism,” she says.

Depression Relief in Singapore

Awareness for mental health in Singapore has improved significantly over the past decades. If you see the signs of depression or suicidal thoughts in a loved one or a friend, convince that person to call Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. Our Singapore psychiatrists offer caring, confidential support, as well as cutting-edge therapies and holistic treatments to help people recover their joy and their purpose in life. Help someone you know find a way out of despair today.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Asia One