Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Friday February 2nd 2018

Young married woman suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies

We interviewed a young married woman currently suffering from chronic depression and who is still harbouring suicidal tendencies.

There is no known official statistics on the number of Singaporeans suffering from depression but the figures must be flattering as we live in a very stressed-up society which requires people to have strong coping mechanisms. There is no room for weaklings and slow coaches here as our country is like a heavy-duty engine churning along – with or without you.

Half of our clients we consult suffer from some form of depression disorder and it is not difficult to see why as they are mostly jobless or divorced or both. Unless you have developed very sound adversity quotient since young, these two life events will potentially knock you out for a while if not for life.

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Transitioning: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed Nora, describe abit about yourself eg age, gender, marital status, educational qualification and work experience.

Nora – 36 years old

- Female/married with two kids

- O/A Levels

- Worked as a Project Secretary, Admin/Receptionist in MNCs like Standard Chartered Bank, JP Morgan, ANZ, RBS and Credit Suisse.

- Currently, owner of a local logistics firm.

Transitioning: What mental illness did you suffer from and for how long? Were you also suicidal?

Nora – Anxiety and Panic attacks

- Depression

- Suicidal feelings

Severe depression started in year 2013, although early signs were discovered way before.

Depression is closer to loneliness, not just stress. Its like cancer… eating you inside. Sometimes I thought if I buy something that I like, then I will be happy. But that’s not the case. Even if you give me the moon and stars, still I won’t be happy. It’s just that suppressed feeling within. Don’t know how to describe.

I also have sleep disorder and live like a zombie daily.

Yes, I attempted many times. Sat on the ledge of my kitchen window on 9th floor many times last time. And my family members will pull me back. There was even once I stood in front of a double-decker bus, and laid on the road in front of Far East Plaza. I hoped the vehicles will run over me. But my husband pulled me back.

Actually I’d still think of death even until now. But I’m scared what is life after death? Will there be heaven for me? And I think again…I haven’t accumulate much good deeds to go to heaven yet. So maybe that’s what stopping me.

Transitioning: Did you seek medical treatment – see a psychiatrist or hospitalised before? Describe your treatment experiences if possible.

Nora – Went to Yishun Polyclinic and was diagnosed with depression. That came after the deaths of 3 loved ones in a lapse of 2 months. Was given a referral letter to KTPH or IMH for further treatment, which I didn’t follow up.

- Prescribed 5 pills (to be taken once a day), which were supposed to calm the nerves.

Transitioning: Is the treatment successful? Why so or why not?

Nora – The pills provided temporary relief, but that was all. I did not follow up with any treatment or appointment after that.

Transitioning:  Do you think that Singaporeans suffering from mental illnesses are viewed as a stigma in our society? 

Nora – No, depression is very common now and fully expected, especially in a progressing country like Singapore. The high cost of living is a huge burden and the struggle is real for most low-middle-incomed families, hence the depression.

Transitioning: Why do you think more Singaporeans are currently suffering from depression and mental problem?

Nora – Unemployment

- Debts/Loans

- Inability to cope with demands and high cost of living in Singapore

- Lack of family support

- No work life balance for those who’re employed (long working hours)

- Benchmark education system

Transitioning: Is your family supportive of your journey with mental illness so far?

Nora – No, they do not understand depression, and often mistake it for stress. I do not receive any strong support nor encouragement to seek any treatments.

Transitioning: How have mental illnesses affect your health, relationship and employment so far?

Nora – I’m an introvert, hence I don’t socialise much. Often, with friends, I’m able to hide my depression well. Not many suspect the sufferings I’m going through. Healthwise, I’d often encounter rapid heartbeats. My chest feels heavy, pain, tight and suffocated. At times I feel faint, as I have low blood. I’d cry for no reason too. My kids have mentioned that I seemed to have a split personality. At one moment, I can be speaking very nicely, but at the next second, screaming my lungs out at them. I’ve became a very impatient person with bad mood swings. I no longer laugh and smile. I no longer have the desire to do anything at home. I used to be very energetic; cleaning the home, cooking and running errands… always on my toes. But not anymore. Now I find solace in sleeping alone.

Transitioning: What do you think the government can do to provide more assistance to mentally ill Singaporeans?

Nora – The government needs to recognize this disability and create a program which helps people with mental illness to reinstate quickly if they regress. (i.e provide free monthly check up/counselling at work)

- Should treatment be needed, it needs to be consistent and affordable (subsidised). Depression shouldn’t go unnoticed and without treatment, just because we are poor.

- The government must provide and support jobs for Singaporeans first, hence assist in the first stage of lightening up the burdens carried by mentally ill Singaporeans.

Transitioning: Lastly, what is your advice for other fellow mentally ill Singaporeans?

Nora – Talk to someone you trust about your depression.

- Seek medical help.

- Find the time to get away from the big city lights, and surround yourself with nature. Feel the calmness.

- Surround yourself with loved ones, (this could be a little hard for some, as nowadays most people seem to be busy and engrossed ‘in their own world’)

- Make time to do what you love most, i.e. gardening, listening to music, reading books, cooking etc.

- Lastly, find the last bit of strength to pray and believe that God is there. Even if no other humans understand, God is all-knowing and all-seeing.

Thank you and end of interview

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One Response to “Young married woman suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies”

  1. C Sing Ow says:

    Depression can be in built..maybe due to pass family happenings.. It may bring back and trigger out now. Further if u are in your own business…business pressure may added… U should take steps to reduce incidents from happening that’s to prioritise yr work and self need. Conduct work schedules in priority queues and allow more time for yr relaxaion with your family.

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