CASE REPORT

Reincarnation-Balinese local wisdom as supportive therapy in the elderly with depression: a case study

Ni Ketut Sri Diniari

Ni Ketut Sri Diniari
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali, Indonesia. Email: [email protected]
Online First: January 26, 2020 | Cite this Article
Diniari, N. 2020. Reincarnation-Balinese local wisdom as supportive therapy in the elderly with depression: a case study. Bali Medical Journal 9(1): 77-79. DOI:10.15562/bmj.v9i1.1626


Background: Reincarnation (reborn after death), is a Hindu belief in Bali where it is proven by 'ngaluwang' ritual. In this ritual, every person who has a newborn baby will ask the help of  'orang pintar' to find out whose atman (spirit) has manifested in the baby. By returning to the world, there is no more sadness or feeling of loss in the elderly who suffers from the death of a spouse or other family member. This case study aims to know the reincarnation as supportive therapy for the elderly with depression.

Case Description: A qualitative case study with in-depth interviews has been conducted by 2 (two) elderly people with a history of depressive disorders from the community. The first case came from a retired woman 72 years old and other case was derived from a female-farmer 80 years old. Face-to-face interview assessment has been evaluated to the cases and narrative synthesis about the findings has been written by qualitative approach.  From the case study, the elderly experienced improvement in depressive symptoms, where feelings of loss, sadness, loneliness, guilt and hopelessness disappeared after the return of dead family members’ spirits into the world. The reincarnation of a loved one makes sadness and loss cease to exist, so symptoms of depression are healed.

Conclusion: Reincarnation, which is believed to be a particular culture or religion, is a part of local wisdom that can provide healing of depression symptoms in the elderly.

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