J – Shan You
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Story from J

Share your mental health/stigma experience.

I have always felt low for the longest time. Thought it was normal and life was just shitty. It came to a point when I attempted suicide 3 years ago and was caught in the act by my baby sister. She told me to seek help. Help. It sounds like it’s right there. Like it’s so easy to reach for. But really it isn’t. With the stigma around this issue, you will first doubt yourself and when you seek opinions you will find people doubting you, you will argue with yourself to and fro “am I sick? What is this. Am I just weak? Is depression real?”. You will feel like getting help is stupid, illogical and etc. the lucky ones like me will find the courage to reach out. But most, they don’t even see it as an option. They’ll feel like there’s no other option but to hurt themselves, delve into unhealthy habits to curb the pain, suicide, violence against others. And that is such a dangerous thing. But nobody seem to understand that. When you read the news of a suicide, most people’s first thoughts will be “oh that’s so sad”. And it ends there. Nobody seem to ask why? How? How do we prevent this? Education system too stressful? Work life too stressful? No. It’s really not just that. It doesn’t just take things like this to drive a person to suicide. But nobody seems to get it or bother to find out.. And when people who are suffering seeks help and comfort from those around them.. it’s usually not empathy or understanding we get back in return. Comments like “it’s not that bad why are you so sad.” Is the worst. And treatment? It isn’t such an easy thing to go through. It’s not as clear cut as you would think. In my 3 years of treatment, I’ve had multiple changes in diagnosis, medications, therapies. The whole process is honestly really scary when you have to go through it alone. And simply just having one person, just one that understands or tries to understand what you’re going through brings so much comfort. I have so much to say.. but I’ve said them so many times I’m tired. I just wish more people would know that just putting in the effort to empathize with us would mean a lot.

How did you respond to this experience?

I wake up everyday and I find reasons to keep going. Little things like how my dad needs me to do his laundry to big things like my dreams and my future. I wake up trying to find a point to the most mundane things. Just to go on. It’s tough, but I’m still trying.

Help others by sharing a positive message.

Telling you that you will be okay is too easy. It’s so numbing to hear that honestly. But you know, you are important to those that needs to know that they are not alone. So live on to help others that are like you. Look out for them everyday. Be it a stranger, a close friend, whoever it is that you sense that they are going through a similar struggle. Let them know that you know. And trust me that will already be a big help.

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