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Mental Illness Is Not the End of the World

Mental Illness Is Not the End of the World

Having schizophrenia made me feel suspicious and paranoid, thinking that people wanted to harm me. Sometimes I heard voices or music, which I knew were not real. When I didn’t take medication regularly, I would also develop suicidal thoughts. Due to depression, I was unable to hold a job down for long. Sometimes, a depressive wave would suddenly hit me. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on my job and made mistakes easily. 

In 2016, I was introduced to FAME Club. With the many programmes and new friends made here, my mood began to improve. I became more positive, optimistic and motivated in life. 

A significant lesson I’ve learnt at FAME Club is that having a mental illness is not the end of the world. By applying what the staff taught us about how to cope with our mental illness, such as going out for a stroll or exercise, I have learnt to cope better during my depressive episodes. With proper treatment and regular interaction with friends, I can still maintain a good mood. 

Compared to the past, I think the society is more accepting of people like us now, not viewing us as “aliens”. However, there are still people who give us strange looks, seeing us as “abnormal”, “crazy” or “violent”. If they could avoid us, they would. Our condition is under control as we do go for regular checkups and comply to medication. I hope that people would be more accepting of us. 

For people struggling with their mental health, I hope that they would seek treatment early before it’s too late. There is really help and hope for you.

It was my brother who first discovered that something was not right with me. As someone who was cheerful and outgoing, I started to keep to myself, staying mostly in my room. After a consultation with the doctor, I was diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia.

-- James (not his real name), member of FAME Club

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