Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Tuesday February 13th 2018

41-year-old male suffering from chronic depression and feeling blue

Describe abit about yourself eg age, gender, educational qualification and work experience.

Joe: Age 41, male, diploma. Currently working as a customer service officer in CBD area.

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

Joe: Clinical depression (perhaps chronic and need medical attention but I didn’t meet the shrink) – mainly depression due to personal issues, career wise and finances. I tried overdosing myself, jump down from my rental room (2000) and hang myself (teenager but my late mom managed to stop and rescue me).

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

Joe: I skip seeking treatment as its not cheap. When I was warded, the doctor spoke to me personally and said that I am very depressed and want to forward my case to a psychiatrist but I said no as I might lose my job. So he didn’t pursue but he advised me that I MUST seek help as he can see the damage the illness has caused to my health.

Is the treatment successful? Why so or why not?

Joe: Didn’t go to seek any medical help.

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

Joe: As things are moving way too fast and greed becomes the captain that steer this whole island, definitely depression is on the rise but I believe it’s being kept numb as public shouldn’t panic. As a person who could be a chronic depression patient, I strongly believe that depression is on the rise and suicidal tendencies are on the rise too. You can see how many people want to end their life as a getaway from all their problems but not knowing that it will cause more problems to their family who are still living.

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

Joe: Basically trying to cope with how things are right now, with greed that kicks in with its fiery force, many people are thus suffering in silence. Bills are rising, healthcare isn’t affordable like before, education, transportation and even food necessities is increasing – we are known as the world’s most expensive city doesn’t help.

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

Joe: My mom passed away 5 years ago, I am dealing with it on my own. My parents were divorced when I was a kid, my younger brother have 3  kids from his first marriage and he is remarrying this year – he doesn’t know of my illness.

Only trusted friends – less than 4 knew how bad my depression is. I lose weight. Recently my wedding was sabotaged and my future wife dumped me. I’m supposed to be married by  March – I’m never married before and was so looking forward to it, somehow it didn’t happen. I was hit by another wave of severe depression – real hard – from 85 kg to 77 kg now and losing bit by bit. I’m sick many times with 9 days of medical leave and suspected meningitis but I am keeping the faith and hope.

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

Joe: I can’t focus. I lost my promotion and am very devastated – no mood to work but I need the funds. Morale is super low…drag myself out of bed everyday till now.

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

Joe: By helping with our financial issues especially wage and career wise. Since I am a Malay, my chances of actually getting a very good job that leads me to progress and even lead a team is very, VERY SLIM. We all know the harsh truth for Malays in their own land to be treated like dirt.

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

Joe: Never use suicide as a solution. If they aren’t strong, seek help. Do some spiritual healing or get closer to God. I did but doesn’t help much but I am still holding on for how long? I don’t know. I need a better job with better pay…but it’s hard. I am stuck with a miniscule-paying wage and bills that I have to handle alone because I shifted to my own house…3 rooms all on my own and I can’t save up.

Thanks.

Joe

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