Over these last 3 to 4 days, all I did was lying on the sofa at home and eating congee, as I was told by the doctor that I got both throat inflammation and diarrhoea, which was why I had a high temperature. Of course these few days, being so physically unwell really sucks, but this is nothing compared to that mental pain.
For a few nights, I had a sudden moment of realisation that I was still mentally sick, I feel so weak. Looking at the different shapes and colours of different pills I had to take, and then reading my physical appearance using my own eyes, I asked myself: how could I be so weak both physically and mentally? So I tried to do some thinking, as a way to check whether I was still mentally sound or not; after all, I delayed my appointment with my psychiatrist to a week later due to my fever over these last few days. Sitting on my bed, my tears drowned my eyes again, dripping down from my eyes, to my throat, to my duvet; as usual, this was no way what I wanted. I wanted to see myself appearing confident, independent and strong. I am a perfectionist who do not like to lose, yet tears betray me to make me give in to those 3 big names which I just can’t help, but have to recall them over and over again: depression, anxiety, bipolar.
Not that I tried to do this on purpose but rather, automatically, my brain could associate a strong sense of sadness with anything that was actually not related to me. This has been ongoing for me. Basically, when I hear a very sad song, I can feel that the lyrics are describing me, and worse, once I felt that the the singer really gave the song such an impressive expression, conveying such a strong depressive mood, I googled the singer, and Google told me that the signer is a depression sufferer. When I watch a movie or read a book with a sad storyline, I feel that all these storylines come together as an indirect reflection of my own-self.
I have always defined to myself that the day I recover from my mental problems would be the day that the psychiatrist says that I can come off all the medication, no more anti-depressants. This is one of the reasons why I am still upset almost everyday, since I am taking medicine each day, and day after day. There were days when I blamed my psychiatrist right in front of him questioning his professional skills, asking him why I am still on medication, and I considered over and over again about stopping all medication. What I wanted to do was not actually to offend or insult him, I just don’t want to lose the battle against all my mental problems, but to have a totally sane mind.
This week for many times, things in life seem to tell me to change my rules; the boundaries in my own rulebook maybe can be put down a little; maybe I am being too much of a perfectionist, or simply too harsh on myself. Maybe I can say to myself: hey, some people do need to take anti-depressants for the rest of their lives too, even if I do, I am just one of them, so I am not the odd one out! Then I by chance came to watch a TV programme where a few mothers were interviewed to talk about kids with mental problems. These mums were all once mentally troubled. One briefly talked about her painful experience of having to live in at the homes of others abroad for the purpose of schooling and got mistreated, whilst another mum talked about how she used to be in the elite group of students academically then almost could not face the upside down fact of becoming the bottom as she grew up. I was like: actually, I had very similar experiences like those of them!
Feeling more connected to the world, one more discovery almost blew my head off. My friend sent me a link, I guess my mental problems could even be traced back to me having a ‘boarding house syndrome’, for I was a boarder for 6 years since a young age. This syndrome briefly suggests that by living in a boarding house, a child could be mentally affected in many different ways which altogether bring about negative impact. I have copied the link here should you be interested (only English version available for now).
By the end of the day, I came to a ‘wow’ moment.
- I am not alone in taking anti-depressants for long term.
- I am not alone in being mistreated by having to study abroad, living at stranger’s place.
- I am not alone in adapting from being a top grade student and then to join a low grade group (and now in the average group I suppose?).
- I am not alone to be a boarder, and ‘boarding house syndrome’ may explain my causes of mental problems better, shield me from blaming words of not being a mentally strong person.
At last, I conclude that I have mental problems, but I am not a weirdo, for I am not the odd one out of the majority of the society. I have emotional breakdowns, I from time to time do silly things, but I am very normal too, and undoubtedly I am not crazy.
- Please don’t discriminate all those who suffered from mentally illnesses. We already have the triggering gene to get sick, and you don’t know what each of us has been through to have come to the stage that we are at.
- Please never call us names or use negative terms like ‘scary’, ‘pressurising’, ‘crazy’, ‘useless’, ‘monster’ etc. Your understanding would really be appreciated.