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Jakarta Post

Depressed campaign team members seek ‘anti-blues’ therapy

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 24, 2019   /   04:04 pm
Depressed campaign team members seek ‘anti-blues’ therapy Polling station attendants wear ghost costumes to welcome voters in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, on election day on April 17. Many polling stations got creative to attract voters. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

As in previous years, the 2019 legislative elections have resulted in cases of depression among losing candidates and their campaign teams.

Mursyid, a 45-year-old from Penpen village in Cirebon regency, West Java, is among those to experience stress post elections after helping his younger brother Khaerudin, 35, campaign for a spot on the local legislative council in last week's elections.

Khaerudin, who was running on a National Mandate Party (PAN) ticket, supplied Mursyid with money and 3,000 eggs in two box cars as resources to go out and canvas for votes.

"It's awkward if you go to someone's house and don't bring anything," Mursyid said on Tuesday as quoted by "I would say, 'Here are some eggs from my brother, just a donation, please pray for and support my brother."

Unfortunately, Mursyid's efforts were not enough to secure a win for Khaerudin, who garnered only 567 votes in the election, well short of his target of 3,000 votes.

Mursyid said his brother had constantly asked him to "collect" votes, which had caused him to become depressed and feel disappointed in himself.

To combat the feelings, Mursyid decided to go to the nearby Al Bushtomi "anti-blues" Hermitage to seek help from the hermitage's caretaker, ustadUjang Bushtomi, on Tuesday night.

Ujang bathed Mursyid in the Setupatok Reservoir and conducted a series of rituals to help calm Mursyid.

Ujang said that as of Tuesday night, six candidates and 10 campaign team members had visited his hermitage.

He advised candidates and team members to "let go" of the costs they had borne while campaigning.

"If we donate something, we should not expect something in return," he said. "The therapy that I give aims to get rid of the negative aura, so that the soul and mind is calm and in sync."