Mel – Shan You
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Story from Mel

Share your mental health/stigma experience.

I had anxiety and depression a few months back. It was a downward spiral when I started losing appetite, losing sleep and losing interest in the things I used to enjoy doing. I could not stop worrying about something that was causing me stress. When I told my husband that I wanted to see a doctor to check if what I am feeling is normal, he thought I was just over-reacting. When I felt I still could not stop myself from the constant adenaline rush, I felt very helpless and alone. So when I happen to visit a GP when I had flu, I just told the GP about how I am feeling. It was then he asked me whether I wanted to see a psychatrist. I also started to see a psychologist as well.

How did you respond to this experience?

Even though medication and couselling helped, I was not able to get well immediately. There were a lot of trial and errors to see what works best. I realised the process of recovery is a very slow and gradual one. I wanted to just avoid the problem but every day did not seem like a better day. After skipping work for 2 weeks, I decided it was still best to go back to work and try to lead a normal life. Many would not understand but it actually required a lot of courage to do something simple like going back to work. I could not hide my anxious look. I could not concentrate and cannot sit still. There were curious glances and people who dared not talk to me. I had to tell myself to be kind to myself, take small steps at a time and not to bothered about what others think of me. It takes patience, determination and mental strength to go on each day. The feelings of despair and thoughts that you are going to go crazy kept coming in, something like a demon in your head. But I just tried telling myself to not give up, for the sake of my family members and friends who care about me. With this determination and thanking myself for surviving each day and being grateful to people who helped me, I then started to get better slowly.

Help others by sharing a positive message.

No matter how hard it is, never lose hope in yourself. Before you go to sleep each day, write about things or people you are grateful to, think about the little things that you have done well and always thank yourself for doing a good job (no matter how small that job is eg. finishing a dinner). Always be kind to yourself. We all have a choice and let's choose to be happy.

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