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

Lady PMET with masters degree lost her work and thinking of suicide – why?

 Dear Gilbert,
 
I read the article on the jobless graduate suffering from mental illness and I would like to share my experience.
 
I am in my thirties, single, hold an honours degree  and a master’s  degree in another discipline, which I completed on a part-time basis while working. I did well academically, emerging as top student for different subjects and in junior college, as top Arts student.
 
I have been working for more than ten years but  have been on long leave since June last year due to schizophrenia.
 
I lost my job in March this year and was informed to find a different job. Up till then, the department I was working in was still willing to have me back at work.
 
I believe the contents of the doctor’s medical report on my condition, of which I am unaware, changed their minds on retaining me with the department.
 
I was told that the department I was with was too hectic and I might suffer a relapse. In addition, the doctor had indicated that I was not suitable to return to work for a period of one year which is indeed too long a period to be away from work. 
 
Thus far, my job search has not proven successful in yielding any interviews. I have not sent out hundreds of applications as I do not meet the requirements for most jobs available in the market. 
 
So far, I have been searching for jobs in the recruitment pages of Straits Times and online job portals. 
 
Suggestions given to me include looking  at other areas of work. His other suggestion was to sign up with recruitment agencies and be placed on temporary assignments so that I can pick up useful skills along the way. But the job functional areas that recruitment agencies source for are in areas such as human resource, administration, sales, marketing, logistics and IT.
 
With more than 10 years of  experience in a specialised area of work, I fear I lack the experience to be considered even for temporary assignments. And what will I tell the recruitment agency when they ask me why I had quit a well paying job to take up temporary assignments?
 
I want to avoid mentioning the fact that I have lost my job because of my illness. But I can’t survive on temporary assignments, if I receive any. My supervisor advised me to be creative, versatile and proactive – easy to say but difficult to implement. 
 
Furthermore, stigma exists with regard to mental illess. The job application forms I have submitted so far ask the job applicant to declare whether they have suffered or are suffering from a mental impairment  which reduces my chances of being called up for an interview.
 
I have not been terminated from the agency in which I work yet. But the doctor’s medical report was only written in March this year and in it,he had stated that he would do a review on my condition the following year. March next year is a long time to wait.
 
 
During my last visit to the doctor, I tried to get him to allow me to return to work sooner but he was reluctant to do so. Even if the doctor clears me to return to work, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find any employment within as this is dependent on available vacancies and in competition with other candidates.
 
What chance do I have when faced with healthy individuals? Moreover, no one would want to employ someone who had to be away for medical reasons for over a year. 
 
I am also not certain as to whether they are prepared to take me in at my present level of employment. 
 
My savings will not last me long. My medication alone comes up to around $600 plus per month. 
 
Knowing how important appearance is, my chances of landing a job is even more neglible as I would lose out during the interview at first sight, if I am ever called up for one. I probably have to wear a wig to hide my actual hair condition.
 
My future is bleak, if I have one. I have considered taking on non-graduate positions such as production operator, retail assistant and even cleaner, to survive. I wonder what to tell the employer as to why I lost my job. Any mention about my illness would end any offer of employment even if they are willing to consider graduates in the first place.
 
All of what has happened is demoralising and depressing. I worry about how I am going to support the family when my father, who is the sole breadwinner now, retires or should any ill befall my father now as he is already in his sixties, if I remain unemployed or end up working in a low paying job.
 
My thoughts have flitted to suicide – what it would be like to jump off from the eighth floor of my apartment. I should not bear such thoughts but I cannot picture the light at the end of the tunnel. The more I dwell on my situation, the more hopeless it all seems.
 
The wrong choices I have made in my life have led me down this deep abyss from which there is no way out.
 
Regds,
 
Sally
 
 Editor’s Note: We will be seeing Sally soon for a discussion.

Reader Feedback

9 Responses to “Lady PMET with masters degree lost her work and thinking of suicide – why?”

  1. john168 says:

    sally, come over to australia, life at down under may not be a bed of roses but at least it will offer you some opportunities to continue working and earn a decent living.

    dont think about suicide, but be brave and venture overseas, start by applying for immigration visas to both Oz and NZ. good luck!

    • 861nhoj says:

      john168, you make it sound like Australia is her only hope. I am in Australia now and I’m totally planning to go back. This freaking racist place is no place for pple like us. Cost especially electricity have gone up to ridiculous levels. My wife just got retrench just because her employer cannot keep up with paying power and the extra hand at the same time. U calling someone with a mental issue to have to deal with the stress of moving to a totally new environment as well as having to deal with the hash reality of the place not actually paved in gold is going to make her condition worse

  2. jeff says:

    Hi john, thanks for your advice

    can u help me network into entry level jobs like admin, retail, delivery down under?

  3. Tim says:

    Your idiot doctor made your situation more stressful!

  4. marcos says:

    After reading this interview, I can’t help agreeing with Tim that your doctor actually made the situation even worse. Have you ever thought about seeking the opinion of another doctor?

  5. Johson - Australia says:

    It’s hard to find a good job in Australia , racist? Maybe but it’s either u can survive or go back to Singapore.

  6. Sye says:

    It is really sad for senior civil servants to lose their jobs. I not being sarcastic but most snr cs would delegate tasks to down below, once they lose their jobs, they may even find simple msoffice a problem despite the fact that they are scholars. Even GCT and LHL needs help to use facebook. Maybe consider giving tuition for the time being or apply for a teaching job?

  7. Johson-Australia says:

    Things are not made easier with a mental illness. Can understand your situation and the difficulities you face.I wish you all the best.

  8. sal says:

    Hi Sally, life is getting harder in Spore. Cause the stronger survive, but what happen to the weaker one? …u must have faith n believe in yrself n rebounce back.

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