We need to seriously relook at how we treat mental illness

By ehohteeetch

Quick summary of myself : I am a local student both born and raised here. I was officially diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GDD) in the past few years. As most people will know, Singapore isn't exactly the best place to live in when you have a mental condition. The taboo associated with it exists, and remains strong. You have more than a handful who don't believe in it, or simply dismiss it as something insignificant and unimportant. Thankfully the older generation are the ones with such mindsets as they grew up in an entirely different environment, while the younger folks tend to be more tolerant and understanding of things.

Back to my story. My academic results were severely affected by the turmoils afflicting my faculties, and consequently I was expelled from school. But all wasn't lost then, as I was able to lodge an appeal. The school was kind enough to offer me a second chance, but what dismayed me was that during the interview, the principal actually said: "I don't want you to use this excuse again in subsequent appeals, if any". Oh well then I'm sorry I have depression, and it was definitely something I totally could choose not to have. (Obviously I had to apologize on the spot to gain sympathy points.)

Now, I'm not saying that I should be granted absolute free rein because of my medical predicament; then again what shouldn't have happened is implying that my depression and anxiety disorders were mere excuses for me to employ, and saying that to someone who's suffering is just plain rude and uncalled for.

Back at home, where most people reckon family constitute one's strongest pillars of support - I have my parents telling me "你有病的" (you have a disease/problem) on a constant basis whenever I did something that's not to their liking, such as talking back to them. But I was fortunate enough to have my friends who stood by me, and to also encounter awesome medical professionals at a local hospital where I'm presently seeking treatment.

Would you tell someone who has broken his/her leg to continue walking and implore he/she to stop dangling it as an excuse to not go the entire distance? If no, then why are we still telling people with depression to "just cheer up" and "go socialize more often", that it's an excuse "to remain moody and downcast all the time"?


Revelations of an autistic young adult

School kills me.

More Young Folks Suffering From Mental Illness: A Personal Opinion