Sunday, July 20, 2008


(painted by by Haley N. 'Everlorn' Baker: The main illustration for a school project on schizophrenia. Some have said it's my most emotional piece. I know it's one of my darkest)

Allow me to share with you, a story of one of my patients. The name has been changed to ensure confidentiality.

I killed myself today. This was my third attempt. It started this morning, when I was minding my own business. Amy scolded me again, ‘You useless fool! You have been bad, looked what you have done!’ ‘The policemen will find you’ Patrick added. ‘He might as well die. The world does not need a man like him’ Amy continued. 'Even your mother does not want a son like you!’ I could not understand why my friends could say such harsh words. I tried to shoo them away, but they were very stubborn and intrusive. I tried to talk to Jane, my sister, but she was asleep and she dismissed me. I could not take it anymore, so I decided go for a walk to relax. Maybe some fresh air would help, i thought.

The day was unusually moody today, the dark clouds roomed the sky of Kuala Lumpur. I had a feeling, something was going to happen. And true enough, I suddenly heard a sharp noise, more like tyres screeching - an emergency brake. There was a young man, unconscious, lying on the street, covered in blood. He was knocked by a car. He looked very familiar but it took me a while to register.

It was Benny, my next door neighbour.

The scene was horrifying, I froze a while, not knowing what to do. 'Call the ambulance' someone shouted, which I obediently did.

I later found out that it was an attempt suicide. This news took me by surprise as this young, 16 year old bright handsome boy, had a future ahead of him. Why did he end up this way? I wondered. I tried talking to him later in the wards, and learnt his story...

It started when I was 14 and my parents filed for a divorce. I could not understand why they did not love each other anymore. My mother, she left me for Britain. Does she not love me anymore? Have I done anything wrong?

My life was miserable, my friends, they left me one by one. Even my girlfriend broke up with me. The only friends I had was Amy and Patrick.

My life before was not the way as you see it now. Before my parents divorced, I used to be a friendly cheerful person. I loved video games. In fact, I played hockey for the school team. However, after the event, I was depressed, most of the days. I find it very difficult to sleep, my clothes became looser as I lost weight. I could not concentrate in school, and my results were lacking, in fact, I was failing my subjects. I became tired easily and did not feel like moving. Video games did not interest me anymore and I quitted from the school hockey team.

My friends abandoned me. But it was okay, I still had Amy. But my doctor, my family, my friends, they did not approved of my new friends. They called them ‘my hallucination’. I have never seen Amy or Patrick before, but I can hear them...

The doctor later diagnosed Benny to have Schizophrenia with depressive features. He was having auditory hallucinations and running commentaries which were degratory in nature. He also had persecutory delusions and believed that people were trying to harm him. When watches the television or listening to the radio, he had delusion of reference and believed that the messages were related to him. These had made him afraid and scared. The voices disturbed his sleep and he often wakes up crying because of this.

Schizophrenia (pronounced /ˌskɪtsəˈfriːniə/), from the Greek word meaning 'the split mind', is a psychiatric diagnosis that described a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.

About one out of 100 people suffer from schizophrenia, more commonly among the young population. The society stigmatized schizophrenia patients as ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’ which made them isolated and ashamed to seek treatment. Schizophrenia is a disease like any other, eg: diabetes, hypertension, which required treatment. In simple words, there is an imbalance in chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in the symptoms seen. These can be managed with medications and psychotherapy.
When managed early, a person restore his social and occupational function, and live a life...

We should not stigmatized schizophrenia patients, for they too, need our support and help...

Schizophrenia, we care...


  1. The picture is indeed emotional and dark, as is the disorder.

  2. yes, the picture painted by Haley was indeed very dark... i feel sad for schizophrenic patients... the society thinks that they are making up signs, and stigmatized them, when really, they are patients too... 'A beautiful mind' is a good movie to illustrate this illness...

  3. if he got the support and cares from ppl surround,bet we wouldnt see him as schizo d..guess he had lot sad memories..:(

  4. >joethew>>yeah.. but sometimes, there's a genetic factor to it too.. but a good supportive community helps... faster recovery...

    >dann>>yes, it's sad.... the world sometimes... but each and everyone of us can make a difference! :)

  5. Need more awareness on this affliction. In Malaysia, schizophrenics are stigmatized and shunned. Many ppl still don't see it as a disease and that it's treatable. Overseas many sufferers still lead active & productive lives with proper treatment. A change in our mindset & approach to this disease is the first step to helping the sufferers. Tks.

  6. i probably hv mild schizophrenia.
    i hear voices.. that is not me.
    hurm. not only schizophrenia being stigmatized but also depression
    i have lecturer calling me "mentally problem" when in fact i hv depression . not crazy..
    sumtime when we thrive to be alive, people around us wanted us die..
    thats why i shoo people away from my life..

  7. >daryl>> A change in our mindset & approach to this disease is the first step to helping the sufferers - i agree! we can all do our part in making a difference.. by telling the world that we should not stigmatized/isolate schizophrenic patients as they too are suffering from a disease... and to support schizophrenic patients to be strong, to give them hope that, their illness can be managed, active symptoms relieved and their social and occupational function restored.. they too can enjoy good quality of life.. do pass the message.. ^^

  8. >goldflower>> hang in there.. sometimes, at the peak of a major depression, people can hear voices.. it must have been hard for you face harsh words from your lecturer.. it is just that they do not understand this illness yet,... others do not want you to die.. they are just too afraid and had little understanding of this illness... again, the Malaysian society lacked awareness about psychiatry and psychological illness.. like i've said, psychiatry illness are just the same with other chronic illness (Diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc)... the body is not healthy but there are treatments available and it takes time to heal.... our cultural made it a taboo to discuss these illness.. this should not be so...

    i hope you'll be strong, you have a long bright journey ahead of you.. i pray for you peace and happiness.. take care...

    your blog is an inspiration to others.... for there will always be love... ^^

  9. Shinyin..sorry i wanted to post in ur chatbox but it's not workin=p
    Jsut to let you know tat i've linked you!=)


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Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..