Battling Depression And Suicide In The Mental Institute

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed are of the writer’s own and were originally posted on her Facebook page before we reached out to find out more. The purpose of this story is to understand one girl’s struggle with suicide and depression at wit’s end; the contents are not reflective of or intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

There is an urge inside me that I can no longer fight. I don’t talk about this as freely as I want to, because I never want to be looked at with a cloud over my head.

Unfortunately, the few times I have talked about this publicly have left me humiliated, ashamed, and feeling more broken than I can say.

For those who are close to me, you’ll know I was taken away in June this year. I took a large number of painkillers and waited for something to happen.

Nothing did, except they came and took me away.

I spent the night in a large dormitory style psychiatric ward, with about 30 to 40 other women, ages ranging from 18 to 70. I was afraid to sleep. Someone kept screaming, and my request to have my journal and pen with me was denied.

We wore hospital shirts and pants with no elastics. We were watched while we showered. We were given rations of soap, and we shared hairbrushes.

I laid there that night thinking about the cop that showed up earlier at my hospital bed. The man was impatient; he wanted to know why I did what I did. I told him I was in pain, and he asked me where.

He said something like, at the end of the day, he doesn’t know me and he will forget about me. That if I want to make the decisions I make, then it’s up to me. Because in the end, I’m just a girl to him, and he’d be going home and he’d forget about me.

I think I want a happy family. I think I want to make a happy family. But I still don’t know why. And I don’t know why I am recounting this.

I think part of me wants people to know that you will be treated like a prisoner for your uncontrollable dark thoughts, even if they are just about relieving the pain that you feel.

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In therapy

Every night, I lie in bed by myself and think about how I am trapped—in this head, in this bed, in this life.

I have been in therapy for many years; it has offered me no respite.

I self-medicate, but you know how they talk about tolerance. Alcohol doesn’t soothe me anymore, contrary to what you might believe. I am actually not in a frenzy. My mood has been steadily low, and it’s been low for the past couple of years.

It’s just every time I end up in the hospital, someone asks me why. Why I never reached out. Why I had to do this. I really have no answers, except existing is painful.

For some people, like me, it’s a chronic disease. It follows, it stalks, and it violates. If I could shake it off, I would. It’s just like that sometimes.

Meds can help, but you need to keep an eye on it and monitor your progress. Some people have adverse reactions to medication. For me, it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks whenever I switch meds to tell if it’s doing anything, good or bad.

The last time I knew I was going to do something bad, I walked into the hospital and told them I needed to be kept. But, the emergency doctor on duty that day told me that being inside won’t help me.

I OD-ed the next day.

However, I know it’s not her fault, and she had a point.

Dealing with loneliness

It’s inconsolable rage a lot of the time, but mostly it’s just inexplicable loneliness. Even when I’m surrounded by people I love; even when we’re belting out songs drunk at 12.00am.

I’m tired of fighting. I ask myself and I ask you: to what end will I fight to?

Many of you know me by the self-destructive behaviour that I sometimes exhibit. If you’ve known me at all, you’d know that the facade of not-giving-a-fuck is a defence mechanism for giving too many fucks.

I don’t know how to explain this. Sometimes, it feels like my heart is going to explode because I love so fiercely, so relentlessly.

But I can’t love anymore. I think I would have made a good wife; maybe even a good mother. I’ve always wanted to fall in love.

But that won’t happen anymore. I try not to think about it too much.

Treatment For Depression

“For people who are afraid of the expenses, get a referral from a polyclinic. They will give you a cheaper rate and they also have medical social workers that can provide financial assistance. Money is not a problem in the face of mental health.”

All opinions in this article are of the writer’s own; the contents are not reflective of or intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you or someone you know is in immediate harm, call 24-hour emergency medical services at 995 or approach your nearest A&E. If you need someone to talk to, you can call the 24/7 Samaritans of Singapore hotline at 1800 221 4444.

The National Suicide Prevention Week runs from 10 September to 16 September. If you’d like to participate in this year’s #ThroughTheNight campaign, you can find out more here.

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