Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Sunday October 26th 2014

Jobless local graduate struggling with psychosis

I remembered that it was one fateful night in December – I could not sleep despite my exhaustion.

At the back of my mind, I kept thinking about work for no apparent reason.

I wasn’t doing too badly at work but there was this tension within me and the persistent worry about how I performed at work.

I  kept wondering about my probation and whether I would be confirmed.

This was my first full time job after graduation and I wouldn’t want to blow it.

Before that, I have  been freelancing or working on contracts. I did not want to quit easily as it took me a while to find the  full time job.

Later on, I started to hear comments about my work performance from my colleagues.

I ignored them as I don’t treat comments seriously, however, the comments started to escalate as the days went by. 

It was also difficult to distinguish whether the comments were actually made by them or that they originated  from my head!

Naturally, I got stressed and distracted from my job.  I was also frightened…

My brain started to freeze and I repeatedly forgot to do things. My supervisor and colleagues took notice of my performance and strange behavior.

I reckoned they knew something was wrong about me and  I hope this  was a passing phase  as my mind had  told me  so.

I was removed from my work tasks quietly as my work performance was affected by the battle I had with myself.  

I subsequently withdrew from my lunch group and ate silently on my own.

I could sense that  the battle was really inside me than at the work place.

I wanted the commentary game to end because the voices had followed me for twenty four  hours every day.  It was pure torture to say the least.

I am scared but I do not tell anybody because I expected people around me to know that I was been stalked.

I also started to throw tantrums in the office because of the mood swings.

Surprisingly, my supervisor asked me to see a doctor because she said I was careless and needed to have a medical checkup. Later on, they even arranged a psychologist for me to consult.

Still, I thought there was nothing wrong with me.

The voice later  asked me to quit my job  and to stop the game.

I did it out of compliance. Everybody thought something was wrong with me by now.

My father shook his head repeatedly as he knew that  I was simply not the rash type to quit a job hastily.

Fortunately, over time, the voice grew weaker after I quit my job but it did not end.

Suddenly, I took note of what my supervisor had said which  confirmed my suspicion – those voices I heard were actually mine!!!

But still, I really hoped that it was just only a game and  all this madness will vanish suddenly…and I will be well again.

Finally, I told my family members about my illness. They were upset as if I have borne the family curse.

For me, I have to make a lot of adjustments and   lower down my career expectations.  There is also the fear that my illness will be a hindrance to my job search.

I realised that employers here do not take kindly to jobseekers with mental illness. Sometimes, they shun them like the plague.

I was subsequently treated at the costly Gleneagles before moving over to Alexandra hospital for treatment. I was detected with psychosis – a common  kind of mental illness.

The medical dictionary defines  psychosis as:

Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality.

The hospital visits were bi-weekly because the side effects of the medication were strong- stiffness in my movement and restlessness.

It took  many weeks for the voice to fade away  and right now I can resume my normal activities again.

However,  I feel worthless every day because I depended on the  medication to get well and more importantly I have  no job.

I do not know what to do with my own life right now.

Nevertheless, my illness has actually helped me to realize the important things in life – health and family - things that money can’t buy. 

I just hope that I  have the courage to move on after  all these dark clouds…and hopefully there is an employer out there who is  kind enough to offer me a job despite my illness.

Written by: Emily

Editor’s Note: I have met up with the writer and  if there is a kind employer out there who is willing to interview Emily  for a job vacancy please email me at gilbert@transitioning.org.  Mental illness is curable through medication and many people have led  normal lives after that. If you are currently suffering from some mental illness, do write to me and share your experiences. All mails received will be treated with strictest confidentiality.

 

Reader Feedback

5 Responses to “Jobless local graduate struggling with psychosis”

  1. Stillalive says:

    Luckily Emily has supportive parents. Even healthy Singaporean may feel overwelmed with stress if he belongs to the low to medium income group and worst if he has a handicapped family to support. For eg. stress having to compete with non-locals in the job market and blames from family for not being able to secure a stable or getting a depressed pay not sufficient to support the family.

  2. Johnson Australia says:

    From my experience, IMH has a jobs club but I am not sure if you are suitable as you can be labelled a PMET. To help curb depression, it’d be good to do some exercise as it releases some good chemicals etc. Do try to join some self help groups to network about jobs and some outdoor activities to stay socially active. All the best.

  3. jj says:

    Better don’t pin high hope on the IMH job club. I have a friend with slight mental illness. He approached the IMH job club too but still didn’t manage to get decent job from them. In the end, one of the staff asked my friend can they delete him out from the job seeking list.

  4. p says:

    I am no expert in this area but U should be able to find comfort in a ‘religion’; whoever U believe in and wherever your heart brings U. Be involved but don’t indulged and become too dependent.

    Its about discovering the inner peace.

    In the meanwhile, count your blessings and look at the positive sides in life.

    Keep fit, exercise regularly and take your medicine, only where necessary (do not be dependent); U knows your body chemistry well.

  5. Excited says:

    I had a friend (whom I miss dearly) who had psychosis, depression and PTSD and she committed suicide 2 years ago a few weeks after appearing on TV (in a mental health related charity show I think). Her family told others that it was an accident but her friends know better. She had tried to kill herself many many times before the final attempt. She was working part time under the IMH job scheme back then. However her condition had always been very unstable so she didn’t manage to hold onto jobs for long. Her family was not supportive of her too and thought that she shouldn’t have taken psychiatric medication and she was just over reacting.

    When you have mental health problems, you have to really take care of yourself and not let the stress and illness get to you. Surround yourself with friends who understand and accept you for what and who you are. Develop a hobby, learn a new language, make new friends, exercise, travel. Don’t coop up at home. Get a pet!

    Remember many people worldwide have mental health issues too and they are living normal happy lives. You are as human as they are. Eat multivitamins. Build up your health. When you feel physically strong, your mind will be stronger too.

    Once you feel better (don’t rush into jobs when you are not ready mentally), get a part time or contract job first. Once you feel you are ready then move onto permanent jobs. Go into a job you like and not as stressful.

    I hope you feel better soon. Take care!

Leave a Reply